If you say you don’t, you’re not being truthful. Not to yourself or your followers. It happens to all of us. I’m just as guilty as the next with difficulties putting words down on paper, or electronically, these days.
Yeah, I’ve had some dark days. I’ve had days where I sit staring at my computer. My hands fixed on the keyboard, ready to go. But then, nothing happens. I can’t think of anything to type. No words flow on the page. It can be very frustrating. It can be self-defeating. So, what do you do when you are afflicted with this problem? It’s more common than you think. Writer’s block happens, not only to writers, but it can happen in all walks of life; artists, poets, and even entrepreneurs can suffer from this.
First, we need to understand what Writer’s Block is. According to Webster’s Dictionary: Writer’s Block is “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.” So, what exactly does that mean? First of all, those two large words at the beginning of the definition are a bit scary; psychological and inhibition. Wow, does that mean you need a psychologist? Not at all. It simply means that your mind is being inhibited or being restricted in performing creativity.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it really is a simple thing. Think about that meaning. Your mind is being restricted. How’s that? Our minds are easily distracted. This comes anywhere from our cell phones to life problems. We’re so tied to our phones, the internet, social media, and such, that, at times, it breaks our chain of thought. We have fears, anxiety, self-criticizing, and self-judgment.
All these things can cause Writer’s Block. So, what can we do to overcome this? Again, the solution to this problem can be as easy as the problem itself.
First off, get rid of the distractions by turning off or silencing your not-so-smart phone. Close your web browser and social media apps. I’m just as guilty of peeking on those pages to see what’s going on. Don’t do it.
Next, set a specific time to write, every day. It’s important to find the best time that you’re not likely to be interrupted. Mornings work the best for me. I feel the most creative between 6am to 10am. This time differs, but it’s important to know when you’re the best at what you do. Just like exercising muscles, your brain needs exercise. The more you write, the stronger and more proficient you become. Trust me on this one. If you don’t write something every day, you will lose muscle mass, so to speak. Even if you only write a few paragraphs or a few lines per day, it’s very important to do it daily.
Another great idea is setting a goal for yourself. Goal setting is very important. Know your limits and set realistic goals. If you normally write five-hundred words a day, don’t set a goal for two thousand. Instead, set a goal for seven hundred. Once you meet that goal. Set a larger goal. Reaching your daily goal is rewarding and it will allow you to write more. I personally have written twenty-five hundred words a day. My highest day is five-thousand. However, there are times when five-hundred words are challenging. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t hitting your goal. Perhaps, it’s too high. Reset your goal to a more realistic number and before you know it, you’re exceeding your expectations.
We inhibit ourselves by our own words. Guilty as charged. We are our own worst enemy or critic. Don’t slip into that. Boy, it’s easy to say things to ourselves. An example is saying, ‘we’re not good enough or ‘you can’t do this or ‘can’t do that.’ I have been saying can’t for quite a while and once you start tearing yourself down, it’s difficult to stop. Turn that around and be a can do this and can do that. My writing is awesome!
If you meditate or pray, start your writing time with ten to fifteen minutes of relaxing. I find doing this will jump-start the day. I suggest no more than fifteen minutes if you’re not used to it as you could find yourself falling asleep. At least that’s what happens for me.
It’s important to take breaks during your writing period. I find that for every twenty minutes of writing, I take five minutes and walk around and stretch. Then it’s right back to it for another twenty. Again, everyone is different. Perhaps you can go longer periods and can get away with shorter breaks.
If you find that you’re just not getting anything done. Switch it up. Write something different. It’s also okay to take a day off. I write five days and then take the weekends off. It’s really up to you, but try and write each and every day and you’ll find you’ll get stronger and more proficient, just like working out; you build endurance.
I hope this helps you overcome your Writer’s Block.
Until next time, this is Author Brian K. Larson, Sparking Imaginations.