Have your fingers frozen over the keyboard waiting for your brain to warm them up with the right words?
Do you have stage fright at the thought of thousands of people getting lost in your muddled sentences and meandering paragraphs?
Writer’s block is a common symptom that afflicts every writer at some stage. There’s a range of reasons why it can occur: anxiety, low moods, tiredness and just a complete lack of confidence can all grind the creative process to a halt.
The symptom isn’t terminal, however, and there are plenty of ways to counter it’s dehibilitating affects:
- Have you worked out a structure for your writing? If not, brainstorm every section to find new ideas to generate new paragraphs.
- Set yourself a schedule and reserve your most productive period to writing. Emails, phone calls and checking Facebook can wait.
- Remove distractions: shut your door, close down your email and do your best not to wander onto the internet.
- Use a timer and force yourself to sit at your desk for that period, and then reward yourself with a short break at the end.
- Just write anything and worry about perfection later on. Blank screens can seem daunting, fill it with words and you’ll feel like you’re making progress. Even if what you write isn’t up to scratch you can revise and edit as much as you like later on.
- Go for a walk, relax and listen to some music to charge up those alpha waves.
- Try mental exercises such as simply writing impulsively whatever comes into your head. This will help you relax when typing and not wringing your hands over every word.
- Work somewhere new, where you wont easily be distracted, to break out of your familiarity zone and spark new ideas.
- Talk to someone about the subject, or try imagining having a conversation about it. This can help create new ideas and give you a sense of how to structure your writing.
- Realize that writer’s block isn’t a medical condition, and can be treated by following points 1-9.
If you catch writer’s block then don’t panic, and just accept it as part of the ebb and flow of the creative process. You can’t expect to nail it in every sitting.
Painters will go over areas of their greatest masterpieces repeatedly until they’re satisfied. Writers enjoy the same luxury. A blank screen is merely your canvas and you’re free to sharpen, mould and enhance to your heart’s content.
Just sit down and start splashing words onto the screen and eventually your creative genius should kick in and do the rest.