So, what is the ugly truth about writer’s block?
The truth is, it happens to writers of all kinds often! But, some say it is a myth.
It doesn’t seem so when you are staring at a blank page for 30 minutes!
Whatever your genre – novelist, essayist, blogger, jingle writer, lyricist – there comes a time when writer’s block will rear its ugly head. And you will be stuck, staring at a blank page.
Here is an interesting quote from J.K. Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, that emphasizes the issue:
“The wonderful thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting. The terrifying thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting.”
What Causes Writer’s Block?
No-one really knows, but we have some theories that we’d like to share with you here.
Theory 1: Maybe it is a case of having too many ideas buzzing around in your head. You have so many ideas that you are not sure where to begin. Because, even if you begin, you won’t know how to connect all your ideas up in the same story. Too much is just too much.
Theory 2: The alternative might be true and you have too few ideas. You can’t seem to get things going. You’re not sure that your article or novel is moving in the right direction. Where should you go next with the story? You feel like you haven’t a clue and – the page is still blank!
Theory 3: Ideas may not be the problem. Perhaps it is because you know you have other responsibilities to take care of and are distracted. As well, you have a “wish list” of all the other things you’d like to do instead of sitting at a computer and writing. Music, painting, dancing, travel, your “bucket list” is enormous.
Theory 4: You need to have the right mindset. Are your expectations of yourself and your writing capabilities too high? You cannot expect perfection when you begin to write. If you do, it is likely that you’ll experience more than one blank page.
Perhaps you can think of other reasons for experiencing writer’s block.
Is Writer’s Block Real Or a Myth?
There are those who say that writer’s block is not real – it is a myth. I’m not sure if this is true or not. I just know that sometimes I am faced with a blank page and just cannot get started.
When you set out to write a blog post about a product or service, the first thing you must do is research. If your research is thorough, you will know everything you need to know to be an authority on your subject.
You should then plan your article in the right way, with headings, table of contents, etc. Then, when you start writing, everything should flow easily.
Even so, sometimes I find myself blocked up in the middle of an article and I’m not sure in which direction to take it. Is that writer’s block or just inefficiency on my part?
I do know that if I get up and walk away, and do something else for a while, I can finish the article quickly when I come back.
Therefore, I’m not entirely sure that writer’s block is a myth!
The Ugly Truth About Writer’s Block And Amazing Tips On How To Cure It.
Probably the best thing you can do to get unblocked is to take a break from your work. It may only be minutes or hours, but you will need to get away from it completely.
This leads to doing something else while you’re taking a break from your writing. Go for a walk or take the dog for a walk if you have one.
Listen to some music, whatever you prefer, and just enjoy it allowing your mind to wander during the listening.
Make yourself a cup of coffee. There is nothing quite like it for stimulating the brain into action.
You could try writing the end of your article or project first. If you know where you are headed it may become easier to generate ideas to get you there.
Do some Freewriting to help you generate some new ideas. If you don’t know what this is, go here for an explanation.
Freewriting allows you to just put words down on paper without concerning yourself with structure, grammar or anything else. It may not make sense and will probably not be usable, but it will help you to generate ideas to get you unblocked.
Read a book. All good writers are great readers so reading should definitely be included in your writer’s tool box.
Do it differently. Instead of sitting at a computer, pick up a pen and notepad and start hand-writing. It could make all the difference.
Give yourself a deadline. Set a time-frame around your writing project. Pressure is an amazing motivator.
There is a thief called procrastination – it steals your time and your ideas. You have ideas, stop procrastinating and get them down on paper.
Fear is what causes procrastination. What are you scared of? If it is criticism, then you shouldn’t be writing in the first place. Overcome your fear and you will get unblocked.
Remember, It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect!
We touched briefly on perfection above. One thing to remember is that your article or chapter or essay does not have to be perfect.
Treat it like a first draft. A first draft of something is definitely not perfect. It is usually full of flaws, but contains the essence of the piece you are writing.
You can revisit it to fix the errors. You can fine tune the grammar and syntax. When you go back to it you may decide to take it in a different direction entirely.
This is a great reason for making a draft before completing your project and avoiding perfection.
Final Thoughts On The Ugly Truth About Writer’s Block.
In conclusion, if you find yourself staring at a blank page here’s what we suggested you do:
- Take a break.
- Go for a walk.
- Listen to some music.
- Make a cup of coffee.
- Write the end first.
- Do some Freewriting.
- Read a book.
- Use a pen and paper.
- Set a deadline.
- Stop procrastinating.
- Overcome your fear.
Above all, you should do whatever works for you and gets your brain back to where it should be.
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I do hope you’ve found this article useful. Please leave me your comments below. I’d love to know how you deal with writer’s block.