You sit down with a steaming cup of coffee (or tea), ready and wanting to write, but nothing happens. You stare at a blank word processing page on your computer or tablet. The whiteness is emanating an unsaid taunt, threatening to induce blindness. Your eyeballs pulse as your mind races. What ails you? It’s called writer’s block!
Writer’s block is a stealthy enemy, lurking to launch an ambush when least wanted and expected. No matter what kind of writer you are—blogger, journalist, reporter, novelist—the block is an insidious monster lurking in the shadows, always ready to pounce. In order to be a successful writer, you must learn to banish the block before it expels your creativity!
Banishing the Block
In order to be a successful writer, you must learn to banish the block before it expels your creativity. In the spirit of literary warfare, here are five tips even the most seasoned of writers swear by for beating the dreaded block:
1. Read: Reading is every writer’s primary means of discovering sudden inspiration, learning new techniques, and expanding their knowledge. Technology makes it easy to create a stream of ready-to-read material. You can create an RSS feed, subscribe to niche-specific blogs or Podcasts, and utilize social media alters to track new material. Grab that Kindle, Nook, or tablet and read, read, read!
2. Avoid Editing while Writing: While it might seem like a way to save time, it will easily double (even triple) the project time. It will interrupt your creative flow and discourage your journey to the end. Push yourself to keep writing, and don’t be afraid to branch off in crazy directions. Save the editing for later in the writing process.
3. Don’t Start with Nothing: Remember the taunting whiteness mentioned earlier? Silence it before it has an opportunity to scorn! Blank pages are the allies of writer’s block. Before you begin writing, create an outline. It doesn’t need to be elaborate. Scribble notes or draw a picture (stick people, boxes, and circles can flesh into remarkable things). If a quote or photograph inspires you, display it as you write.
4. Turn Down the Noise: Turn the TV or radio down. Create some “you time” for writing. Try to make it uninterrupted. Turn off the cell phone. Unplug the house phone. Send the kids outside to play. Be creative with the goal of creating a block of quiet, uninterrupted work time.
5. Add a Little Pressure. This tip goes hand-in-hand with the last. A little deadline pressure can produce titillating literary results. Set a timer. Give yourself 20 minutes to write 500 words. Push yourself and then take a break. Go play with the kids, check your phone, or scroll through tweets. Then, rinse and repeat.
Writer’s block is a wily opponent. Sometimes it feels like a haunting curse or an all-out frontal attack. It can squash creativity and turn deadlines into nightmares. If you fail to fight it, it can devour your dreams and ambition. Fight back! Use these five tips, and as time passes you’ll find the block easier to banish.
Feature Image Credit: radiantskies via 123RF Stock Photo