Often, in the life of a writer, self-doubt creeps in. A form of Writer’s block, it’s notorious for bringing writing to a screeching halt. Doubting our writing capabilities in the middle of a project often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and the writing may, indeed, SUCK.
I find that when I’m ‘in the groove’ the words flow easily appearing on the computer monitor as fast as I can type them. But when writer’s block rears its ugly head, the monitor stares back, taunting me, laughing at me. And I stare back at it, then down at the keyboard, then back up at the monitor. But there’s nothing…
So how do you get rid of the block? What methods do I use to get back to writing?
Here are a few things that seem to work:
- If you’re not locked in to a topic, pick one that you’re passionate about, one that gets the creative juices flowing. I find if I’m interested in what I write about, it’s much easier to keep the words coming and to finish the task.
- Try Free Association. Sometimes a writers tendency to edit as he/she goes along will bring on the dreaded ‘block’. Get rid of your “editor’s hat”…there’s plenty of time for that after you’ve done the draft. Relax, close your eyes for 10-15 minutes and think of things NOT pertaining to your writing.
- After you’ve done that, try setting a timer for 10 minutes and start typing anything that comes into your mind…even if it makes no sense at all. A childhood verse, what you would do on vacation, words that rhyme…anything at all as long as it has nothing to do with what you’ve been writing. The idea is to free your mind of all distractions and just write what comes naturally. Then transfer that freedom to the writing task at hand. Works every time.
- Another easy thing to try is to break your project up into smaller portions. When looking at the project as a whole, it can feel overwhelming and seem like a monumental task bringing on writer’s block big time. Cutting it into smaller chunks ie., a few paragraphs, a page, or a chapter, if it’s a book; or the headline and subhead if it’s an ad, will make it flow that much easier.
- And exercise. Whenever your writing is blocked go for a brisk walk around the block, take a swim, ride your bike or use the treadmill. Physical activity increases the blood flow to the brain and releases nervous tension…and it’s been know to release a muse or two.
These work for me…I’d love to hear what works for you.