Don’t Let Writer’s Block Affect You

How many times have you stared at your blank computer screen or a blank sheet of paper?

For some, it’s a recurring struggle while for others, it doesn’t happen often.

For authors, when writer’s block does happen, and it may at some point, authors need to face the challenge head on.

In its basic form, writer’s block is the inability to produce writing of value to the writer. It may also be a slowing of creativity.

And if you ask an author if he has experienced writer’s block, his answer may be different compared to another writer. Writer’s block is different for different authors.

Since I work in the newspaper business, it is rare for me to experience writer’s block because every day is different, and each day brings new ideas. I’m not bragging, but journalism is also a non-fiction setting in which writing a story may be getting a reaction or comment from a source. Even though that may sound easy to some, it is far from it.

Writing is hard work, no matter if it is non-fiction, fiction or poetry. The process can get intense, and also can be fun and rewarding.

I have experienced lulls when writing fiction. And for me, it’s not so much a block. I experience lulls during the editing and revising process because I am thinking and re-thinking the order of my fictional presentation. At times it can be frustrating.

And I would guess authors who have experienced writer’s block get frustrated. If you make your living at writing fiction, and suddenly your words dry up, it will affect your day-to-day activities.

If an athlete gets injured, he won’t be able to perform on the court, field, ice or any other surface in which contests are played. A writer may go through a similar experience hoping, like the injury, the block is a temporary setback. The athlete goes through rest and rehabilitation to overcome his injury. The important message is the athlete doesn’t give up and wants to play again. The same should hold true for the author. Just like an athlete, the author may have to rest and rehab.

Maybe the author needs to break down the writing process again and get back to basics. Maybe the author needs to spend more time prewriting where he can write down his ideas without any judgment cast upon him. Or he can give himself permission to write anything he wants, and not focus on his work at hand. By giving himself that special permission, the author may free himself from being perfect and allow himself to fail. But is the author really failing? I don’t think so because he would be a failure if he gave up and didn’t choose to write. By choosing to write he is looking to jump-start his creative flow so he can get back to his normal production. Sometimes one has to step back and look at things from a different perspective. The author may have to adjust aspects during his writing process.

Maybe the author has to write through his block. Sound goofy? It’s almost like playing through an athlete’s pain. Even when rehabbing, an athlete will experience pain, but that pain becomes a motivator. The same can be said for writing. Writing through a block can be a motivating force. And here is the bonus: the author gets to keep the good words.

As for advice, there is no blanket statement that will suffice.

There are books, Youtube videos, and podcasts on how to overcome writer’s block, but in the end, it’s not about the words, but how the author will overcome writer’s block.

It’s that easy.

It’s that hard.