What is writer’s block?
Every creative person in the world faces it from time to time, at least to my knowledge. Writer’s block is when despite the desire to write something, nothing is coming to mind. Perhaps there is a lack of inspiration, perhaps a loss to where the story should go next. Perhaps both. There are many scenarios. But the result is always the same. No writing is accomplished.
So how should writer’s block be dealt with?
I’ve heard some people just take a break and hope that inspiration strikes at some point or another. I’ve tried this. For me, the break lasted far longer than I expected and when I sat down to write again, I was still struggling.
So I thought of something different.
What if the answer is in writing?
What? How can that make sense? Didn’t I say that the result is no writing is accomplished? Well yes, and that’s precisely the problem! Writing is something that someone has to keep doing in order to grow better at it and grow in it. So if one simply stops writing, it begins to fade away and the story that was being worked on may or may not ever even be finished.
So here’s why writing is the solution.
I don’t mean writing on the same project or writing anything that will bore you. At the moment, there’s a block there. I mean writing something new and different and exciting. For example, I had writer’s block with Amethyst, my debut novel, for a while. So, instead of continuously struggling with Amethyst, I decided to write a completely different and unrelated project for NaNoWriMo. (If you’ve never heard of it, and you like writing, I advise you to check it out!)
Or, perhaps instead of writing a story, you can try your hand at poetry, an article, or a song. Anything that keeps you writing.
The reason I say exciting is because the whole point is to be re-invigorated about your project. When I did my NaNoWriMo project, by the end of it, I was so ready to dive back into Amethyst and finish it that I couldn’t wait! I immediately jumped back in.
The key, in essence, is to just keep writing. In the words of Stephen King:
“Don’t wait for the muse. As I’ve said, he’s a hardheaded guy who’s not susceptible to a lot of creative fluttering. This isn’t the Ouija board or the spirit-world we’re talking about here, but just another job like laying pipe or driving long-haul trucks. Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ’til noon. or seven ’til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up.”
If you’re struggling with writer’s block, I recommend you set aside that project, but keep writing… perhaps do something fresh. Set a time to do it, and see how you feel by the end!
Or, perhaps you have something different that has worked for you? Feel free to post a comment about it!