Friday, November 12, 2010
5 Causes and Solutions to Writer’s Block
1. When self-doubt causes the block:
We may tell ourselves we aren’t good enough. We may think we are failures if we can’t get our first manuscript published. We may learn a new writing rule and try to apply it only to find our words sound worse, not better. All these damaging thoughts can fool us into thinking we’ve gone backwards without any hope of moving forward again. At these times we need to be kind to ourselves. We need to remind ourselves why we write. We need to remember the passion. And we need to keep writing.
2. When our characters cause the block:
Sometimes our characters will cause us trouble. They’ll refuse to behave in the story. No matter how much we wrestle with them they won’t budge. At these times we need to try to listen to what they have to say. We need to try taking them down the path they wish to travel. But keep writing.
3. When the hard slog causes the block:
Sometimes we might wonder why we put ourselves through the pain everyday. When we catch a free moment, rather than putting our feet up, we write. Rather than spending time with friends or family, we write. We begin to grow resentful of our writing career. At these times, take a break. Spend time with friends and family. Relationships are important. They are often our inspiration for writing. Yes, writing is hard work, but we need some play time as well.
4. When distractions cause the block:
As I mentioned in my last post, distractions will happen. When they become so great they cause a block in our creativity. We may have to pay attention to why we are getting ourselves distracted. If the reason is to avoid writing, then we have to get over it and refocus. If the reason is because we’ve hit a slow point in our story and we’ve grown bored, then we need to either jump ahead, or reassess what we have written. In these cases the key is to keep writing. Of course, if the distraction is the kitchen on fire, then I’d suggest the key would be to deal with that instead.
5. When lack of time causes the block:
At times we may have to face daunting deadlines or tight schedules. We may be to struggling to juggle all our commitments. At times like these we may have to prioritise and reassess our schedules. We may have to accept we aren’t superhuman and either ask for help with the non essentials like cleaning the house and cooking dinners, or reschedule so our goals are easier to reach.
Do you have any other techniques for breaking through the wall? What are the things that block you most frequently?