One of the biggest issues you see in writing groups is the mysterious ailment we call writer’s block.

When people talk about writer’s block it can be code for any of the following fears

  • I can’t get motivated;
  • I’m completely out of ideas;
  • I need more sleep/exercise;
  • I’m afraid my work isn’t good enough;
  • I hate my current WIP.

The underlying pathology determines which ‘cure’ will work best for you. So, let’s look at them.

I can’t get motivated.

Writing isn’t about motivation, it’s about self-discipline. Some days the words will flow. Some days they’ll be buried deep and a figurative glacier and you’ll have to hack them out individually. If you only write on the good days, you’ll be lucky to get anything written. If you write every day, regardless of your muses presence you’ll get into the habit. Habit beats inspiration every day of the week.

I’m completely out of ideas.

Read a book, see a movie, go watch the locals in their native habitat. There are ideas ready for the taking everywhere. Even garbage literature is a potential source of inspiration. Just imagine how much better your version could be.

Some quick and easy solutions are

  • Do some exercise, it can clear the mind and get those creative juices flowing;
  • Read something in a similar genre;
  • Listen to music that evokes the same feelings/themes you are going for;
  • Re-read what you’ve already written to recapture the tone/voice you have already set.

 

I’m afraid my work isn’t good enough.

Now we’re getting to the tricky ones. I could answer glibly and say things will get better the more you write, but there is a real psychological weight behind these thoughts. This isn’t an issue that’s easily resolved, and even the greats suffer from imposter syndrome. Maybe your work isn’t good enough. Maybe it is. You’ll never know until you get it out there to an audience. Sure it can always be better, but there comes a point where you have to let it go as ‘good enough’. It can never be perfect, and we need to accept that or go mad.

You also have to accept that some people won’t like your work. Ignore them, they are not your audience. Instead, focus on the people who like your work, they are your audience moving forward and they will be the people who encourage others to pick up your work. Keep in mind people declaring ‘I don’t like your book’ is meaningless. If they point out legitimate structural or grammatical issues, then that is constructive criticism. Maybe your work isn’t good enough, but unless you keep writing (and learning) it won’t get better.

A good trick is to write letters to your critics, then burn them. I’m not sure what you do with the letters afterwards though. (Yes, that was a joke. Please do not set fire to critics, they are almost people too).

I hate my current WIP.

That one is a doozy. You only have two options. Abandonment or perseverance. Only you can now if that unfinished work will become an unnamable horror lurking in your WIP folder. The thing you can not name lest its name invokes feelings of existential dread. Okay, maybe that’s too Poe, but you get the idea. Sometimes it’s easier just to forge ahead, even if you are reduced to writing by the numbers just to get the damned thing done.

To summarise.

There is no writer’s block, just fear getting in the way of you finishing your story. Fear is universal to the human experience and no one will think less of you for experiencing it. The important thing is how you face your fear. If writing is your passion, then you will overcome your writer’s block and keep going. It won’t be easy, and won’t necessarily make the fear vanish, but you’ll learn to continue despite it.

“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ― Frank HerbertDune

31 thoughts on “Beating Writer’s Block

  1. web hosting providers

    You can certainly see your skills in the article you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.
    Always follow your heart.

  2. content hosting

    What’s up, constantly i used to check webpage posts here in the early
    hours in the morning, for the reason that i enjoy to gain knowledge of more and more.

  3. best web hosting

    Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. This sort of
    clever work and coverage! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve added you guys to my personal blogroll.

  4. black mass

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed
    reading it, you are a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and definitely will
    come back later in life. I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a
    nice evening!

  5. cheap flights

    This is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.

    Simple but very accurate info… Thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  6. cheap flights

    Hi, i believe that i noticed you visited my website so i got here to return the favor?.I’m attempting to to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its adequate to make use of some of your ideas!!

  7. cheap flights

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly feel this website needs far more
    attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for
    the info!

  8. cheap flights

    Hi there every one, here every person is sharing such know-how,
    therefore it’s fastidious to read this web site, and I used to pay
    a quick visit this web site daily.

  9. cheap flights

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog
    before but after looking at many of the posts I realized it’s new to me.

    Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it
    and checking back often!

  10. cheap flights

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been doing a little homework on this.
    And he actually bought me dinner because I found it for him…

    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this topic here on your internet site.

  11. cheap flights

    After looking over a number of the blog articles on your blog, I seriously
    like your technique of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back
    in the near future. Please check out my website too and
    tell me what you think. cheap flights 32hvAj4

  12. cheap flights

    Hi to all, the contents existing at this web page are actually awesome for people knowledge,
    well, keep up the nice work fellows. 2CSYEon cheap flights

  13. web hosting company

    Tremendous things here. I’m very satisfied to peer your post.
    Thanks so much and I am having a look ahead to contact you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  14. cheap flights

    Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are
    you using for this website? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve
    had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options
    for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    3gqLYTc cheap flights

  15. cheap flights

    If some one desires expert view concerning blogging then i
    advise him/her to pay a quick visit this weblog, Keep up the nice job.
    yynxznuh cheap flights

  16. cheap flights

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you can be a
    great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back in the foreseeable future.

    I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great work, have a nice weekend!

  17. cheap flights

    Hello! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

    My weblog looks weird when viewing from my iphone4.
    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. Appreciate it!

  18. webhosting

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew
    of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter
    updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some
    time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading
    your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  19. website hosting companies

    Wonderful article! That is the kind of info that are supposed to be shared around the
    net. Shame on the search engines for no longer positioning this submit higher!

    Come on over and seek advice from my site .
    Thank you =)

  20. web hosting service

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that make the most significant changes.
    Thanks for sharing!

  21. web hosting company

    I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. All the best

  22. adreamoftrains web hosting companies

    My partner and I stumbled over here from a different web
    page and thought I may as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking over your web page
    again. adreamoftrains web hosting providers

  23. SMS

    Very good article! We are linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.

Leave a reply