Writer’s Block

Hey Lovelies!

I’m done with talking about publishing for the time being and wanted to tackle writer’s block today. I know there is a huge debate whether this is an actual thing or not and there is a lot of advice out there on how to break through this imaginary, or not, affliction most writer’s hit at some point or another. It doesn’t discriminate either. It doesn’t care if you’re a student writing an essay or that you write social media or blog posts for a major company or if you’re a novelist.

So, what is writer’s block? here’s the formal definition of it:

Writer’s Block: the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.

Seems simple enough, right? Well, you’re wrong! (Mwahahaha! — Just kidding – kinda.)

The Nay Sayers

Some people don’t think writer’s block is an actual thing. Of course, we have some people who do. For those of you who don’t, I find that you fall into two categories:

  1. The “Stop Making Excuses”.
  2. The “Science to Back Up Why Writer’s Block isn’t a Thing”.

Now, to avoid being ostracize, you guys have a point. There are people out there that make up excuses so they don’t have to write and I can see how our brain can mess us up at times. Your views are not invalid at all. There are times that we make excuses so we don’t have to write, which ticks off a lot of the professional writer’s off – they don’t have a choice. They have to produce or they will get fired.

As for the science people, most of us are ruled by the left side of our brains – not our right side:

The right side of the brain has shown to house our more creative tendencies. It is also the more “free-spirited” side of the brain which suggests that it does not have the impulse control that the left side of the brain does.

What that means for us writers is that when we sit down at our computers or with a pen and a notebook, we have difficulties making sure our right brain remains focused on the task at hand. There is hope for this type of situation, you can train your brain to do certain things – it’ll take some time, but it will happen if you work at it. This is a link to Write: 10 Days to Overcome Writer’s Block. Period.by Karen E Peterson. She’s the leading expert on writer’s block and how to train your brain into being productive for you.

My Views on the Subject

Alright, so now we’ve seen the other side of the argument and why they have the view that they do. Now, I want to discuss how I see writer’s block. I think it’s a thing. However, it has specific parameters to it. It’s not an excuse you have so you can’t write – don’t use writer’s block as a cop out so you don’t have to write.

Let’s go back to our definition of what writer’s block is.

Writer’s Block: the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.

To me, that italicized and underlined section defines what writer’s block is. You cannot come up with a topic to write about or you’re stuck on a scene because you don’t know where you want it to go. Or your imaginary friends just won’t talk to you, as the post image suggests (this is also what tends to happen to me the most – my characters just go on a break for a little bit).

giphy-downsized (4).gif

How to Beat Writer’s Block

There are untold amounts of way on how to do this. Some author’s have techniques that work for them time and time again and others keep trying new ideas to see what works best. I know that a huge consensus is that you must keep writing! Whether your writing is good or not or if it’s on a different project than your main one. There are merits to the keep writing strategies, but make sure you do go back to that main work.

Here’s my list of tips to try out and why they *should* work:

  • Get away from your computer for a while. But you must come back at some point! While you’re away from your computer do something physical or creative. I like going to for a run or I’ll go to a yoga class. On the creative side, I like to dance and sing. Or I’ll come work on my blog.
  • Work on a different project. Lots of other people suggest this and I actually have tried it out as well. It does help and I enjoy it, but you can always fall into the trap of not getting back to what you were doing originally.
  • Check out some writing prompts. They can spark ideas and they’re honestly just entertaining to read.
  • Free writing or brainstorming. Just let go of trying to find the perfect words or making sure it is perfect – this is what editing is for! Just let your brain go wherever it wants to go. I like to work on my character timelines and family trees or city layouts, if it is made up. It allows me to stay in the story, but it also lets me work on my problem in the background.
  • Don’t start at the beginning. Try starting somewhere in the middle or write your ending. If you can see a scene clearly in your mind then go with it. Don’t force something to come if it’s just not going to happen right that moment.
  • Eliminate the distractions. Some days I need to turn my phone off and hide it in a different room. Other days, I can’t have internet access and I go old school with pen and paper. Other days yet, I can’t have music playing. There are also apps to help you eliminate distractions.
  • Create a writing playlist. This is one of my favorites. I have sexy time playlists for the steamy scenes, sad ones for sad scenes, and so on. Sometimes I just let my iPod go on shuffle mode. I find that the songs with good stories to them (Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillac’s” is superb for story sparking ideas, but any of her songs really focus on telling stories and I find this inspiring) are good for sparking ideas and emotions.
  • Write early in the morning… or late at night. I am not a morning person – never have been, never will be (no matter what science tells me about morning people being better and healthier). So I like to stay up super late writing. I find that between one and three in the morning is my sweet spot where I am most productive. The idea behind this is that there are supposedly less distractions and because you’re half asleep you’re not going to be focusing on how pretty you sound on paper. You’re just getting your ideas down.
  • Depending on your religious beliefs, your weird but I’ll try it meter, or if all else fails…. try praying, meditating, intentions right before bed, etc. I’m not religious at all, but I do like to call upon Archangel Gabriel (known to help writers) for help before I go to sleep and it generally works for me. Author Brian Moreland, does a glass half full method that he swears by. He sets an intention right before bed, drinks half the glass of water, goes to sleep, wakes up, drinks the last of the water and then writes for an hour uninterrupted. He says, at most, it takes seventy-two hours to push through the block. Either way, what I’m trying to say, is that you shouldn’t be afraid to try some weird and wacky things because they just might work.

The best thing about this list? You can mix and match until you find a good combination. Or you can keep reading other blogs and posts about writer’s block cures until you do find something that works for you.

That’s all that I have for you today my friends. I would tell you what we’re talking about next week, but I don’t know as I’m having a bit of writer’s block on it. Is it ironic – yes, yes it is. Anyways, tune in next week for a mystery/surprise post!

Until Tuesday!

Cheers,

Danielle


6 thoughts on “Writer’s Block

  1. I think the most important point you raised in this was the part about working on a different project. I’m at university and, alongside running this blog, I’m also trying to write a novel and I often find that, whenever I get writer’s block with the book, it means I need to write more on the blog. Likewise, whenever I get writer’s block on the blog, it means I need to work more on the book! I just think writer’s block is a sign that you need to change something about the way that you’re working and your post said that really well! So well-written too! Keep it up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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