Right off the bat, I am going to completely contradict the title and purpose of this entire blog by saying: writer’s block does not exist.
It’s not a legitimate condition. When I was researching the nature of writer’s block, many quotes surfaced that agreed with my opinion. Here is one of them:
Apart from a writer simply not being ready or experienced enough to write about a certain topic, ‘writer’s block’ can also just be a product of laziness and doubt. If you really had the conviction, the drive, the willpower, you could write anything and everything. Theoretically, if you had the conviction, drive, and willpower, you could do literally anything in the entire world. But let’s be real. Not everyone will have the conviction, the drive, the willpower (blah blah blah) all the time. What about the times when you are simply caught in a ditch? When you’re in between peaks of creativity but still want to write something good? Read on for some tips and advice on how to cure writer’s block!
First of all, write the things that you like to read. If you fancy the idea of churning out a science fiction novel, but you don’t actually enjoy reading sci-fi, it’s not going to end well. You will have little knowledge about the genre and how to write it, and it’s very likely you will lose interest in your writing. Your writing should be influenced by a combination of what you enjoy reading, inspiration from real life, and your imagination.
Contrary to the common belief that it is the inability to write, writer’s block has been defined by many as the fear of writing poorly. Just about anyone can sit down and scrawl out a bunch of words, but it is the mark of true writers to have those moments where you cannot seem to summon anything from your mind to scrawl out. It’s not necessarily that your mind has gone blank; it’s more like ideas are passing through you, and you reject all of them. After all, what is quantity next to quality? If you have nothing good to write, what is the point of writing at all?
Well, the point is that no matter what crap you are spewing out right now, it is absolutely, 100% better than an empty page. As soon as you get your writing gears de-rusted and oiled up, the writing will take care of itself. Just plow through the gross stuff. One train of thought will take you to an even better one, and you will be able to get over that writer’s block and be back to spinning brilliance in no time. (Ok, it will probably take longer than ‘no time’. But keep typing like a fiend, put in the work that is due, and you will overcome this obstacle.)
First drafts are extremely important in the writing process. Some advice from author Erica Jong is to write for yourself, and write privately. Create a first draft that nobody’s eyes except your own will see. Once you imagine you’re writing for an audience, you will find yourself picking apart every sentence and word choice, wondering if it will please whoever you’re writing for.
Do not second-guess yourself. There is no wrong way of writing, and the words and opinions you are putting on the page belong to yourself only, and serve the first and foremost purpose of fulfilling your desire to write. Write for yourself. (And wait until you’re finished to edit! Editing prematurely can kill any piece of work.)
When all else fails, what you may need is a break. Stop staring at the blank screen, put your pen down, and get up. Go out for a walk, take a bath, sleep, listen to music, meditate, exercise, draw, go to the park and eavesdrop on other people’s conversations- something that has nothing to do with writing. Focussing on something else will give your brain time to relax and reboot. Besides, inspiration can strike when you are doing the most irrelevant things. Shower thoughts, anyone?
Margaret Atwood once said: ‘If I waited for perfection, I would never type a word’. So don’t wait for perfection. Exit this tab right now, pull up a document, and write anything. Write something crappy. Write something cheesy. Write a stream of consciousness.
Why, hello there!
If you read through that whole thing, I sincerely hope you found it enjoyable or useful. I would also extremely appreciate it if you took a few seconds to like this blog post and follow my blog! (The follow button can be found on the right side of the page.)
Thank you so much for reading!