Writer’s Block Party
Very recently, Ray Sanders (astronomer and blogger) asked for advice on how to deal with writer’s block. I have some epic level experience with writers block, so I figured I’d pitch in. Then I figured this was something worthy of its own post here in blog land because who doesn’t need advice on writer’s block? (That, and I can’t believe I neglected this thing for a whole month. I’m sorry wordpress! I love you! Don’t leave me!)
When I seize up creatively, it’s because of one of these reasons:
1) I’m stressed about something else, and usually need to get that something else taken care of before I can focus on the writing.
2) I don’t want to write the thing I set out to write. This one is trickier to overcome, as you have to figure out what about the writing is turning you off. Typically for me it’s trying to push a character in a direction they normally wouldn’t go, or not admitting where I want to go in a scene (I would say not knowing where I want to go, but that is a simple lie I tell myself. The real issue is that I know where I want to go but am trying to figure out how not to go in that direction because of <insert reason here>.)
3) Something else has caught my attention. As an example, I needed to make a deadline recently with writing, but I chose instead to spend an entire night sketching to get the itch out of my system. It cleared my head, and I still made the writing deadline.
It helps me sometimes to just walk away from the project for a short time. I don’t mean stop writing. You can go forever and a day without writing, but if you’re still thinking about that thing you’re not writing, you really haven’t taken a break from it. So stop it. Take a break.
Obviously I don’t offer solutions to these problems. The solutions are different for everyone. But if you can at least nail down the reason why you have the block in the first place, it will be easier to fix.
Also, it would probably help you to stay away from the internet. Just saying.