Battling Writer's Block

March 9, 2016

Writer’s Block

 

  • Writer’s Block has been defined as a disease that only affects the creative mind.  Others call it a curse.  Just about every writer I know has experienced writer’s block at some time or another.  You sit in front of a blank screen or piece of paper and nothing comes!  Here are some tips to help you get past Writer’s Block

 

Wikipedia describes Writer’s Block as: is a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand.  At the other extreme, some "blocked" writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers.   It can manifest as the affected writer viewing their work as inferior or unsuitable, when in fact it could be the opposite

 

 

  • Causes for Writer’s Block:

    • Illness

    • Depression

    • End of a Relationship

    • Financial pressures

    • Sense of failure

    • The pressure to produce work (deadline)

    • Intimidation to produce perfect work

 

In her 2004 book The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain, the writer and Alice W. Flaherty has argued that literary creativity is a function of specific areas of the brain, and that block may be the result of brain activity being disrupted in those areas.[6]

 

 

  • Writer’s Block Avoidance Tips:

     

    • Keep your mind active, learn a new phrase, word, every day and use it!

    • Start a list of prompts and keep them handy.

      • Anytime you see or hear a word or phrase that might be used as a prompt later write it down

      • Keep a prompt log:  it can be a little notebook or typed page where you store prompts that you hear

    • Do something you have never done before:

      • Go to the mall and sit on a bench.  Listen to conversations as people walk by

      • People watch:  Just watching people can sometimes inspire you

      • Read something totally off the wall for you.  If you have never thought about decorating, read a decorating magazine, read a hunting magazine, read something that does not go along with your personality at all.

      • Watch a movie that you normally would not watch:  A romance, A comedy, An action flick. 

    • Create a writing schedule:  You will sit down at 4:15 every day and write (or attempt to write) for at least 30 minutes.

    • Think of writing as a regular job.  You have to get something done every day.

    • Once you do finish a writing project, take time away from writing at all.  Take 1 day to 1 week off where you don’t write anything.

    • Work on more than one project at a time.  This can keep you inspired if you go back and forth.

    • Look up writing exercises on the internet.  Free writes are great:

      • Free write:  Just sit and write anything and everything that comes to mind. 

      • Set a time limit.  I will write for 5 minutes.  Set a timer if you have to

      • Do not stop, continue writing for your allotted time

      • Do not edit, do not rewrite it, just write!  It could inspire another project.

    • Create a Writing Space for yourself.  A comfy chair, a desk that you love, a warm afghan to throw across your legs.  It is your space to write.

    • Take a walk….clear your mind

    • Pretend you are writing a letter to someone you love  -  someone you hate  -  someone you barely know

    • Write an instruction:  How to clean a fish……How to ride a bicycle….How to knit….

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