- Books, Literature, and Writing
Getting Over Writer’s Block By Going Through It
Writer’s block is a problem that has plagued every single writer out there. It also causes problems for people who don’t necessarily consider themselves writers but who find themselves in the position of needing to write something either for work or for school and feeling incapable of getting the work done. It’s a terrible feeling. Luckily there are a lot of tips out there for getting over writer’s block so that you can complete the writing that you need (or want) to get done. Different tips will work better for different people and different tips may work better for you than others at different times so it’s a good idea to arm yourself with as many suggestions for getting over writer’s block as you possibly can. Ultimately, though, when it comes down to it, the only way to get over writer’s block is to go through it.
Understanding Your Writer’s Block
The key to dealing with your writer’s block is to get to the root of where it’s coming from. You need to understand why you are finding it difficult to write so that you can address the underlying issue and move forward through the writer’s block to get your writing done.
Here are some common reasons that people may find themselves facing writer’s block:
• Writing too often. Some people just burn out on writing and need to take a break from it. In this case, writer’s block is just a way of telling that you need to take that break from your writing. This often happens to people who write for a living; writing all day every day can be draining and it is sometimes necessary to just step away from the writing. It’s important to recharge your batteries in between writing by doing other things that you enjoy. If you can’t take a long break from your writing due to a deadline or some other reason then you should at least try to take a short break. In that time, do something either relaxing or inspiring to bring you back to a fresher starting place with your work.
• Not writing often enough. At the other end of the spectrum are those people who don’t write regularly so they freeze up when they need to write something. Even if you’re not writing for a living you should create a regular writing schedule in the form of a journal or daily emails so that the work of writing doesn’t seem so difficult to you. This will help ease up any ongoing problems that you have with writer’s block.
• Hitting that wall in the middle of a project. One of the most common times that we experience writer’s block is when we are in the middle of a project that has been going well and then suddenly it stalls out. Ask yourself if this is what’s happening to you. If it is then you probably just need to do some brainstorming about the work to figure out which direction you want to take it in. The important thing with this kind of writer’s block is to keep on writing and to keep those thoughts flowing so that you can get to the next stage of the work. Remember that you can always edit it later.
• The internal censor keeps going off. The most common cause of writer’s block is the negative stuff that we say to ourselves when we are writing. We pick on ourselves and judge our writing and decide that it’s not good enough before it’s even on the page. Whether you’re conscious of doing this or not, it’s likely that it plays a role in your writer’s block. There are two approaches to dealing with this kind of writer’s block. The first method is to acknowledge that this is what’s happening and then decide that you’re going to write anyway; put pen to page and make it work. The other method is to go deep inside of yourself to look at the reasons why you feel insecure about your writing. Doing this can help minimize writer’s block now and in the future.
• Hating what you’re working on. Finally you may just be stuck about what to write because you don’t enjoy what you’re working on. Whether it’s a paper for school or a set of articles for a client, you may just be feeling negative about the work. In this case, a reward system for yourself could help you get through the writing. Choose a goal for how much work to complete and a reward to give yourself after meeting that goal. This system works when you know that you need to get something done and you just don’t want to do it.
Working on Writer’s Block with Others
The majority of the work that you’re going to do to get through your writer’s block is going to be done on your own. You need to do the hard work of asking yourself what’s really going on with you so that you can attack the root cause of the problems that you’re having with writer’s block. This is the only way that you’re going to see what needs to be done to get through the situation. However, writer’s block is often exacerbated by the loneliness of writing so it’s also a good idea to have a team of people that you can rely on to work with you through times when writer’s block becomes a problem. Groups that do creativity work such as The Artist’s Way, writing friends who are available for coffee breaks during tough times and online social networks of writers are great places to turn for support and inspiration so that you can move through your writer’s block efficiently and get on with the business of getting your writing done.