Sometimes writing flows out of your pen like turning on a faucet. Other times, the words fail to drip out of the spout. When Writer’s Block hits, it has nothing to do with writing. It has to do with thinking. So to combat Writer’s Block, you have to tackle Thinker’s Block.
Writer’s Block is as much about confidence and dedication as anything else. And, all writers deal with blocks sometimes. But there is hope. Let’s take a look at the problem and find some useful ways to defeat Writer’s Block:
• Stick to your writing schedule—Unless it’s a real emergency, stick to your writing schedule no matter what. There will be times when you don’t feel like it. Write anyway. This is an investment in yourself!
Just start writing anything. Random thoughts, your dream from last night, activities in your window, a sentence about something you’re reading, or an idea you’ve been pondering. The habit of writing must be done everyday. By writing something else, you prove you can write, and will be able to tackle the project you need to work on.
• Chose a writing atmosphere—If you work all day at a desk, you may find that you can’t get into a writing groove mindset at a desk. Since writing a book is a creative endeavor, even if you are writing a non-fiction book, consider the environment that will motivate your creative thinking. Or change it up! Leave your writing space and see if that helps open up the lock. A fresh change of scenery can often be enough to get you started again.
• Outline—If you have even a basic outline, you’ll know where you are heading, so there’s less chance of getting stuck. Writer’s block often comes in the form of not knowing where to go next. Always outline a book even if you plan to pants the plot. You need to know when you will hit key plot points, action, or tension. Your outline should be flexible, but having one can keep you in the flow of writing so you don’t need to stop and make tough choices while writing the book. Also, if you’re following an outline, you can write those parts you feel comfortable with and return to the hard scenes later.
• Trade tasks—if the words are just nowhere to be found, switch tasks. Do another task on your list for a while and move your writing time to the time designated for that task. It’s just a trade-off, not a sellout. You’ll still write, but changing tasks can get you in the flow so the words flow more smoothly when you do go back to writing.
© 2019, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.