What is writer’s block, well, I just can’t think of a damn thing to say?
Oh well, I’m out of here! It looks familiar, no! Oh, be honest! We have all experienced this phenomenon when we need to write something, especially on time.
I’m talking about. . . . .uh, I can’t think what the word is. . . oh yes, it’s on the tip of my tongue. . . is WRITER’S BLOCK !!!!
Ufa! I feel better getting it out of my head and entering the page!
The writer’s block is the demon of the blank page. You may think you know EXACTLY what you are going to write, but as soon as this evil white screen appears before you, your mind suddenly goes completely blank.
I’m not talking about Zen meditation that stares at the wall until enlightenment happens. I’m talking about sweat running down the back of your neck, anguish, panic, and suffering, kind of blank. The tighter the deadline, the worse the anguish of writer’s block. That said, let me repeat it. “The tighter the deadline, the worse the anguish of the writer’s block.” Now, you can find out what could be causing this horrible plunge into speechlessness.
The answer is obvious: FEAR! You are terrified of this blank page. You are frightened, and you have absolutely nothing of value to say. You are afraid of the fear of the writer’s block! It doesn’t necessarily matter if you’ve done a decade of research, and all you have to do is create sentences that can be repeated in your sleep in coherent paragraphs.
The writer’s block can strike anyone at any time. Based on fear, it raises our doubts about our self-esteem, but it is sneaky. It’s a writer’s block, after all, so he doesn’t come and let you know.
No, it makes you feel like an idiot who has just removed your frontal lobes through your breasts. If you dared to express words in the larger world, they would undoubtedly be exaggerated!
Let’s try to be rational with this irrational demon. Let’s make a list of what can be under this terrible and terrifying condition.
1. Perfectionism. You must produce a masterpiece of literature from the very first draft. Otherwise, you qualify as a complete failure.
2. Editing instead of composing. Your monkey mind is sitting on your shoulder, screaming as soon as you type “I was born,” no, that’s not it, it’s wrong! This is stupid! Correct correct correct correct,
3. Self-awareness. How can you think, how much more to write, when all you can do is pull your fingers away from the writer’s block from your throat enough that you can grasp in a few shallow breaths? You are not focusing on what you are trying to write; you are focusing on the fingers twisted around the windpipe.
4. You can’t start. It is always the first sentence that is the most difficult. As writers, we all know how imperative the first sentence is. It must be brilliant! It must be unique! He must connect his readers from the beginning! There is no way to write the play until we go through that impossible first sentence.
5. Broken concentration. Your cat is sick. You suspect that your mate is cheating on you. Your electricity can be turned off at any second. You have a crush on your local UPS delivery man. You have dinner planned for your in-laws. You . . . I need to say more. How can you focus on all this mental confusion,
6. Procrastination. It is his favorite hobby. It is your soul mate. That’s why you knitted 60 argyle sweaters or made 300 shelves in your garage workshop. It’s the reason why you never run out of Brie. FACE IT; IT’S ONE OF THE REASONS YOU HAVE THE WRITER’S PACK!
How to overcome writer’s block, I can hear that flock of you running away from this article as soon as possible. Absurd! You snort. Never in a million years, do you smoke.
Writer’s block is, undeniably, scientifically proven to be impossible to overcome. Oh, just get over it! Well, I guess it’s not that easy. So try to sit for only a few minutes and listen. All you have to do is look, and you don’t have to write a single word. Ah, there they are again. I am beginning to distinguish now that the dust cloud is decreasing.
I’m here to tell you that the writer’s block can be overcome. Please remain seated. There are ways to deceive this nasty demon. Choose one, choose several and try it out. Soon, before you have a chance to speed up your heartbeat, guess what you’re writing. Here are some tried and true methods for overcoming writer’s block:
1. Be prepared. The only thing to fear is fear itself. (I know it’s a click, but once you start writing, feel free to improve it.) If you spend some time reflecting on your project before sitting down to write, you can get around the worst of all. The crippling panic.
2. Forget perfectionism. Nobody ever writes a masterpiece in the first draft. Don’t put any expectations in your writing! Tell yourself you are going to write absolute rubbish yourself and then allow yourself to smell your writing room happily.
3. Compose instead of editing.
Never, never write your first draft with your monkey-mind sitting on your shoulder, making sarcastic editorial comments. Composing is a magical process. It surpasses the conscious mind by galaxies. It is even incomprehensible to the alert, editorial, and monkey minds. Then prepare an ambush.
Sit at your computer or your desk. Take a deep breath and erase all your thoughts. Let your finger hover over the keyboard or pick up your pen. And then pull a charade: it looks like you’re about to start writing, but instead, using your thumb and forefinger on your dominant hand, throw that ugly, annoying little monkey back into the barrel of laughter it came from.
So get in quick! Write, scribble, scream, howl, let go, as long as you do it with a pen or computer keyboard.
4. Forget the first sentence. You can sweat with that famous phrase when you finish your piece. Skip this! Go to the middle or the end. Start where you can. Chances are when you read it, and the first line will flash its little neon lights directly from the depths of your composition. 5. Concentration. This is difficult.
Life throws us so many curveballs. How about thinking of your writing time as a little vacation from all those annoying worries. Ban them!
Create a space, perhaps even physical, where nothing exists, except for the only present moment. If one of those annoying concerns bothers you, step on it as if it were an ugly insect! 6. Stop procrastinating. Write an outline. Keep your research notes in plain view. Use someone else’s writing to move on.
Babble incoherently on paper or the computer, if necessary. Just do it! (I know, I stole that line from somewhere). Attach anything that can help you move on: notes, sketches, photos of your grandmother. Place the cookie you can eat when your first draft is in sight but out of reach. Then choose the same type of writing you need to write and read it.
Then reread it. Soon, trust me, the fear will slowly disappear. Once you do, grab the keyboard and start typing!