This is one of the areas of writing (and there are a few, believe me) where I am not very learned. Simply, I never suffer from the all-too-common, writer’s block, so I have never personally needed to combat it.
Sure, I suffer from the lazies, sometimes I will do all I can to avoid sitting down to write. Still, for the most part, I have so many projects needing completion, that fluttering from one to the other to another keeps my mental muscle exercised enough that I don’t get stuck or blocked.
Image by luxstorm from Pixabay
I’m not saying I get much work done this way, in fact, I probably get less work done on one specific thing than if I just concentrated on one piece of writing and didn’t start another until I finished the first. But I get bored quickly, especially of my own writing and this is the way I have always known to work.
As I always say with this or any endeavor…you do you, I do me; we all have our approaches.
Even though I don’t suffer from writer’s block, I know it is ‘out there. There are plenty of writers do face it from time to time, some lots more than others. What I can an offer, and what I have noticed that works for others, that, in theory, should get your juices flowing, is to push yourself back from your desk, get away from what you are trying to slog through, take a break from the writing for a time.
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay
Getting your mind off the work and your ass out of your chair (and disconnecting from social media, screens, online, etc.) is the first and best solution. Besides, we writers need to refuel, get out and about, sniff some new stuff into our brains, marinate, give forth and take in… just like anybody else does. No matter how much you want to write, how it might be your bread and butter, you need a break, as does anyone else.
Isaac Asimov was famous for declaring that he was on vacation all the time when writing. He felt that the writing he did—being taken away to different worlds, delving deep into iconic creations and characters—was all the break he ever needed. I know most writers want to be writing, even when they aren’t, but all Asimovian considerations aside (and really, there was only ever one Isaac Asimov), the first real way to break through your block is to break away from writing.
You could also try to plow through by assigning yourself writing of a wholly different nature than you are presently into or have ever managed. If you are stuck trying to write yourself through some bodice-ripper, open up a new document instead and try to pen an article on fly fishing or start a new blog post on another topic.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
What usually gets us hitting the wall here (beyond burn-out) is that we have been attempting to do the same kind of thing for too long (again, another reason why I don’t do this). If you can’t or don’t want to step away from the laptop or desk, ok, keep writing, but try writing something different, or even wholly opposite to what’s got you stuck.
Lastly (and you are going to have to take a break here to do this): read. When people come up to ask me how to start writing (a subject I tackled in my first column here), one of the things I tell them is: if you want to start writing, well, you damn well better start reading. For me, reading is the very best vacation, as powerful and vital to me as any actual trip I have taken. It cleans out my cobwebs, sets me traveling, and feeds me the words and techniques of other scribes; what could be better?
So try this.
Image by chloestrong from Pixabay
Try everything above, actually. I think one, two, or maybe all three will get you through the log jam.
I hope something does.
I have heard that Aaron Sorkin, writer of such successful stuff as T.V.’s “The West Wing,” and movies like A Few Good Men, Charlie Wilson’s War, and Moneyball, takes multiple showers during the day to keep his writing muscles warmed.
I am sure you have heard of plenty of writers who go for the old walk ’round the block or take in a round of handball with a bud.
Some, yes, smoke, and imbibe, but I don’t do either, and I’m not sure if this kind of distraction will do much more than blot you for a while (it worked wonders for old Dylan Thomas, until it up and grabbed him). But who am I to say what will work for you once you find the solution to writer’s block.
I just hope whatever enema you chose it keeps you unblocked often.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Featured Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay