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Defeating Writers Block

Updated on May 11, 2009

Writer's block hits every writer. Often it sneaks up on a person. The white page glares at you and makes you feel frustration and some times other things as well. However, you, just as many authors and writers before you can get over writers block. There are acutally a lot of different things that you can do and try to see what works best for you.

Thinking Through It

Often times it is easy to over think writer's block. We should avoid that and instead focus on why the problem is attacking us and what we can do about it to make it better. Many times writer's block is a symptom of other issues going on in our lives. Work on figuring out your problems, fixing them, and making sure that writing is as important to you as you want it to be.

Things to Try

Not everything is going to work for you. You will have to try a few things or pick the thing that you think you will do well with. You may need to try more then one thing to get past it.

  • Take a break. Often times taking a break can relieve the pressure that the white page seems to push on you. You can get up and walk around the room (or the block), do some stretching, or even have a snack. Don't make it a long break, but make it long enough to get yourself relaxed.
  • Write about anything. Try just writing something. It could be anything that pops into your head. It might not start out worth anything, but may turn into something worth keeping.
  • Brainstorm. Brainstorming possibilities can open a lot of doors to the writer. You may find you have so much to write about there aren't enough hours in the day!
  • Set a writing schedule. Pick out a time where you plan on writing. Make a plan. It can be detailed or simple, whatever fits your tastes.
  • Stick to the writing schedule. If you have set a schedule then stick to it. Write when you are supposed to write and make sure that you don't procrastinate, schedule something in its place, or put it off in some other manner.
  • Work on multiple projects. Some people can't have multiple projects going at one time. That's fine. But for those who can and those who work better that way, have more then one thing going on at a time will make it easier to move from one thing to the next and can help to keep writer's block away.
  • Don't be hard on yourself. We all tend to be self critical, but this is self destructing behavior. It is best if you work hard to make sure you are encouraging and never hard on yourself.
  • Don't edit. Editing while you write is something we are all tempted to do. However, it is often counter productive to the writing process. Get through the writing and then edit when you are all done.
  • Set up a creative routine. Creative routines can be helpful for writers. You could burn a candle, listen to music, or do something specifically to get you in the mood to write.
  • Don't panic. Panic isn't your friend. Let yourself feel that it isn't a big deal. The bigger deal the white page is the harder it will be to get over it.
  • Meditate. Okay...the idea of meditation is to clear all your thoughts out. That sounds counter productive to getting over writer's block, but the truth of the matter is that when you meditate you relax and will find yourself getting past a lot of things that are stressing you out. That can include the fact that you feel stressed about writer's block. It can also open up new thoughts to write about!

Creative Writing Verses More Technical Writing

Writer's block, or blank page syndrome as it is sometimes called, happens to all writers no matter what they are writing. However, proceeding can be a little different depending on whether you are writing creatively or writing technically. However, all of the things above can be used to jump start you whether or not you are writing creatively.

The LIST

Whether you write creatively or you are working on writing articles or other technical writer, there is something you can do which can help. There are days that it just isn't easy to get started. On those days you can look at your LIST and find something to write on. Here's a look at how you can create your own list.

  1. Get a notebook or a three ring binder. You will want to choose something that isn't going to be too hard to carry along with you.
  2. Write down any ideas that you have in your notebook. It should go with you everywhere and even be on the nightstand!
  3. Spend some time each week brainstorming ideas so that your writer's notebook stays full.

Article Ideas. If you are like me and you are looking at writing articles (especially online) or you have already begun, but feel that there is a limit to how much you can write, realize that there is never an end! As a side note I would like you to know that I have over 1000 articles online. I don't let you know this because I think that is a huge amount (it will grow), but rather to let you know that it can be done. Here are some good ways to add article ideas to your LIST.

  • Life experience. Whether you are 18 or 81 you really do have a lot of life experience you can share with others. In fact, this is an area you should grow in regularly. You can use job experience and the things you have learned at different jobs. You can use roles that you play in your everyday life such as wife, mother, sister, daughter, and more. You can use hobbies that you have enjoyed and learned a lot about. And so much more.
  • Interests. If there are things that interest you then there is nothing to say you can't study up on the topic, learn a bunch, and then write articles in those categories.
  • News and Events. While often time sensitive articles (such as news, events, and holidays) are short lived earners. However, that doesn't mean you can't write about them. When you do, try to tie them into less time sensitive issues so that you can get more out of the article then just the right now.
  • Use Your Resources. Many of the sites that allow you to share revenue for your articles have some sort of resource that will let you get ideas for articles. Some will have this in the form of a Questions and Answers section (such as Hubpages), others will have a requests section, others will have a way to search for titles (Helium lets you write one article to each title even if other people have written to that same title which makes it easy to find articles in topics you want to write in). Plus you don't have to write one article for each topic you come up with. You can write lots of articles for each topic and even write a different article on the same topic for a different site (it isn't recommended that you post the same article twice because it will effect your page rank negatively).

Keeping your notebook with you at all times makes it easy to write down ideas any time they come to you. I even recommend having it by your bedside so you can wake up in the middle of the night and make additions if you come up with something then!

Don't Be Afraid

Don't be afraid to...

  1. Write below your standards. You don't have to keep it.
  2. Write something personal. You can keep it for yourself.
  3. Write something you are proud of! You can do it.
  4. Show others your work. You may find that their encouragement is all you need to get going.
  5. Talk to others about your problems. If you are struggling there is someone, somewhere who understands completely.

Getting over writer's block is something that each writer has to figure out for themselves. It isn't something that there is a magical solution bound to work for everyone everytime. However, give yourself a little time and try a few different things. Don't be hard on yourself and do a little self reflection. You can get over this and you can write better then ever before!

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • aidenofthetower profile imageAUTHOR

    aidenofthetower 

    6 years ago

    @nochance...It's amazing how fast NaNoWriMo creeps up every year. :-P Good luck getting your novel written!

  • nochance profile image

    Chloe 

    6 years ago from Minnesota

    This is a great hub with really detailed tips. This is going on my list of motivational articles for National Novel Writing Month. Thanks.

  • Tirzah Laughs profile image

    Tirzah Laughs 

    7 years ago from USA

    I find editing is fine as long as its a completely different project.

    Waiting is the hardnest. You feel like you should be writing even with the words aren't there. Not writing for a while can fix that.

  • profile image

    C. C. Riter 

    9 years ago

    I ahve heard of this thing, I'm 59 almost, never had it. Lucky? maybe, but I think not. My mind is always able to create something from nothing. good luck with the challenge

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