Let me guess, you’re trying to write a story and instead of finishing what you planned out for the day you started skimming blog posts because you have been infested with the disease we are all looking to avoid WRITER’S BLOCK.
How do I know? Because I have it right now, that is why I’m writing this article 😀
Writer’s block, while a nuisance, is not as bad as it seems, and it should not be the reason you are not successful in finishing your story or blog post, or whatever it is that you are trying to write.
So, what is writer’s block?
Well I define it as the locked door that you find in your journey through the mystical realm you are developing. Picture it like this:
Sally moved along the interior of the castle grounds. She is ready to defeat the dragon and she is on the verge of attempting to find it’s dragon’s nest, where she knows it will be nursing her young. She examines the grounds and wanders through the extensive hallways. She finds a winding staircase and climbs to the top of it. At the top, she sees a door and she hears the dragon snoring on the other side. She touches the handle and feels its warmth, a sign of a dragon. She prepares to lunge forward, sword in hand and attempts to open the door, but then… she realizes it is locked. She searches for the keys. Can’t find it. Umm. okay now what do I write… okay, okay there is a rug, she checks under it… still no key. Huh, okay well what about under that candlestick to the left of the door… nope. No key. Well, this is unfortunate.
Though it is not a legitimate sickness or ache of any sort, it can feel extremely uncomfortable. In fact, I experience physical symptoms like wandering eyes, headache, a restlessness I just cannot shake.
But, does writer’s block have to be the end of it? Do you have to pack up your bags, put your pens away and wait until another weekend where you have free time? I would say that this doesn’t have to be the case.
Here are the 5 reasons you may be experiencing writer’s block and what to do about it…
1- You are writing in an unmotivated / uninspiring location
Beautiful stories should be written in beautiful places for a reason. Messy rooms, noisy areas or dark dingy corridors can leave a creative at a loss.
If you are writing in a messy room as a for instance, you may begin to distract yourself from the story and focus instead on all of the chores you need to get done. This may distract from the work you are trying to accomplish in your writing.
Personally speaking, if I feel claustrophobic, that restricts my writing for certain. If I spend the entire day writing in a room I begin to feel my creativity become stifled and I am at a loss of ideas.
Consider taking a walk, write in nature if you can. That is a very peaceful way to brainstorm ideas. If still nothing is coming to you, go to a coffee shop, the library, anywhere outside of the location you have been feeling stumped in.
2- You’re stumping yourself on the idea
So you’ve thought about this brilliant idea that you want to execute to a T. It is going to be your bestselling novel and you are impressed with the progress thus far, it’s just the process of getting it finished that is causing you stress. Stories are not meant to be stressful, and they are certainly not meant to be perfect.
You are not a robot, you’re human. That is what makes your story interesting. Your story is going to be written with real, raw, human emotion. You cannot exactly replicate the vivid image you portrayed in your head onto the page, but you can attach new emotions to the story as you translate it from your mind onto the page. You have to allow yourself to get creative with your stories, you aren’t supposed to just transcribe it onto the page from your mind. Give yourself some room to experiment with the idea, shape it, give it its own zest. Be playful and experiment with it.
3- You are too eager
The bar is set high when it comes to writers. Will my work flop? Is my idea good enough, will people like my work? Will it be one of the greats?
It is good to be ambitious. In fact, it is commendable. But, it is not something that should get in the way of your writing. You should try to focus on the present first and then work to the future goal. Start by writing down all of the ideas you have of what your ideal future will look like for the book. Keep a journal of all the marketing techniques you’ll use and what you want your cover to look like, and then once you write all that out, you’ll have something to look forward to and you can start writing your story to reach that goal.
4- It’s not you, it’s the story
Today, I sat down and tried to write a story. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get this story written I have been building it up on my head for the longest time and it just was not coming to paper, no matter how desperately I tried.
So I started writing another short story instead and I ended up writing 5-6 poems, one short story, and a Thrive global blog post. You don’t have writer’s block, you’re just stuck on the story. You have started putting too much pressure on yourself to finish a story you are not super interested in right now. Try to alter the story to make it more interesting and genuine to the emotions and situations you are feeling right now.
5- You need a break
If you have been writing for 8 hours today, without so much as a lunch break, no wonder you’re getting writer’s block! Writing is like a muscle if your body is telling you the muscle hurts, take a little break, stretch it out. If you’ve been writing all day without a break, take a break from your laptop. Go out on a walk, schedule yourself some breaks, schedule yourself shorter writing block times so you can get more work done in shorter time periods and enjoy breaks. Hang out with a friend and tell them your idea for your story, bounce some ideas out with them. This is the best way to get your creative juices flowing.
Best of luck with the writing! I wish you all the creativity in the world.