You may not agree, but my argument is this: Writers may not necessarily be bloggers, but bloggers are definitely writers in their own right.
And all writers, at one point or another, experience writer’s block. Imagine having to stare at your computer’s white screen for hours on end, the cursor blinking and your mind spinning like crazy, but still coming up with nothing you think worth writing or blogging about.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
Having been a freelance writer since 2001, I can tell you with all honesty that writer’s block is the bane of my writing existence. But I have learned to somehow deal with it, and I deal with it like a frog hell-bent on conquering a pesky fly.
Here are five things you can do when confronted with writer’s block:
1. Keep on writing
Sometimes you sit in front of your computer all prepped up, ready to write your way to infinity and beyond … Buzz Lightyear, is that you? … and then you discover your well of creative juices had run dry. And then you start feeling like everything you’re writing is just not worth it – unsubstantial, inconsequential, unimportant.
Hey, it’s all part of the package, so don’t give up on yourself just yet.
Since you already got the time to write – most writers I know always have trouble finding time to write – go ahead and do what you came to do in the first place. Write, that’s right, keep on writing.
Believe me, at some point in your nitpicking, your self-criticizing, something will click into place and ultimately get hold of you until you’re back on solid ground. The first three pages of Stephen King’s Carrie were tossed in the garbage, but Stephen King’s wife encouraged him to finish the story, and the rest, as they say, is history.
2. Take down notes
You probably have noticed that every now and then, an idea would strike you when you’re furthest from your computer or in a hurry to do some errand or too busy with something, that blogging, or writing for that matter, would just have to take the backseat.
And then the moment you’re ready to put that idea into writing, alas, it’s gone, disappeared into oblivion, probably never to be found again. Your best defense against such a situation is a pen and your handy-dandy notebook. Write the idea down while it’s sitting fresh in your mind.
3. You don’t need to start at the beginning
So there you are now, in front of your computer and your idea consuming you with such fierceness that you can’t sit still. And then you start, but … hey, you don’t know how and where to start!
Don’t fret because you don’t need to start at the very beginning. As a matter of fact, if the beginning proves to be rather elusive, start at the end, or even the middle, and once you have those in place, the beginning will flow its natural course.
4. Take a breather
You have decided to start at the beginning, and now you’re almost done. Problem is the ending doesn’t seem to fit, or not as bombastic as you hoped it to go. You have been writing and doodling alternately for a good three hours already. Still, the ending just wouldn’t satisfy you. Okay, folks, it’s time to call it quits … for now.
- Stand up.
- Stretch your arms and legs.
- Take a walk.
- Do the laundry.
- Brew yourself some tea.
- Call a friend.
- Create a shopping list.
- Listen to some music.
- Take your dog for a walk.
Whatever else you can do, go ahead. No one’s stopping you. If you need to really distance yourself from your computer, make sure to bring your pen and handy-dandy notebook with you. You never know, a brilliant ending just might strike you in the most unlikely of places and circumstances.
5. Create a scrapbook
I don’t personally do this, but some writers do. Just so they don’t run out of ideas, they keep a scrapbook with newspaper clippings, photos, drawings, greeting cards, just about anything that would make the proverbial light bulb click.
I know the list above is far from being complete. If one digs deep enough, he/she might be amazed to discover there are a lot more tricks out there to consider.
Writer’s block is real, and there’s nothing left for a writer to do other than live with it and overcome it.
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