How to push through it, or go around it.
Starting today I will be trying to publish writing tips for my new section entitled writers corner. I will try to post to Writers corner once a week or maybe bi-weekly depending on the interest shown.
Lets start with some common causes of the dreaded writers block.
Common causes of writer’s blockThe reasons for your block may vary, but some common ones include:
- Timing: It’s simply not the right time to write. Your ideas may need to stew a little longer before writing them down.
- Fear: Many writers struggle with being afraid, with putting their ideas (and themselves) out there for everyone to see and critique. Fear is a major reason some writers never become writers.
- Perfectionism: You want everything to be just right before you ever put pen to paper or touch a keyboard. You try to get it perfect in your head and never do, so you never begin.
Let start with what not to do.
How to not overcome writer’s blockAnd just for fun, here are some anti-solutions to this problem:
- You do not overcome writer’s block by refusing to write until you feel “inspired.”
- You do not overcome writer’s block by wallowing in self-pity.
- You do not overcome writer’s block by procrastinating or making excuses.
- You do not overcome writer’s block by watching TV.
Now on to the tips.
The first set of tips comes from Brian Moreland, who writes novels and short stories of historical horror and supernatural suspense.
Step away from whatever you’re writing and do anything that’s creative. Paint pictures, write poetry, design images in Photoshop, make a scrapbook or collage, or if you’re masculine, build something in the garage. Work on another creative project for a few hours or days and then go back to writing. When I’m stuck, I paint paintings or work on my website or blog. Jumping to other projects really activates my creativity. The key is to keep exercising the creative part of your brain and eventually you’ll tap back into the flow of writing.
Do freewriting. Spend 15 minutes or more a day writing whatever comes off the top of your head. Ignore punctuation. Just write freely. Allow it to be totally random. You might change subjects many times. You might mix fiction with journaling or vent frustrations. The process trains your brain to tap into the words inside your head and gives them a place to live on your computer screen or journal. Do this for a week and then return to your writing project. An alternative is to freewrite 15-20 minutes to get your thoughts out and then immediately return to writing your book or article. Some of my freewriting entries inspired new ideas for my books.
Move your body. Dance, practice yoga or Tai Chi. This may sound funny, but when you get your body into flow, your mind follows. Meditate and take long, deep breaths. A relaxed mind is more open. An open mind is more imaginative. You can focus longer when you are in a peaceful state. Sometimes I step away from writing, do some yoga poses and breathing, then return to writing in a more creative state.
A few more tips I picked up from different sources are
- Change your environment.
- Read a book.
- Listen to music
- Brew some coffee
That is all for today on writers corner. I hope this helped some of you I know it helped me. Now I am off to sacrifice a honey bun to the writing gods and get back to writing.
The Pirate Wench