I wrote about getting started in writing, that sometimes the beginning is the hardest part. But, writer’s block is a completely different monster. See, getting started is often difficult but at least the writer has something to say. Writer’s block is where you hit a mental wall and you have absolutely nothing at all.
Some people would look at you crazy and wonder why you would want to write if you have nothing to write about. But, a writer has a need to write. And sometimes, things just need said even when a writer can’t seem to form the words.
How do you get through it is the question? There are several ways to combat writer’s block. Force yourself through or gradually get back into it, there’s always a way.
You may have been taught this before, but it works rather well. Freewriting is a method in which you start writing all of your thoughts down on a piece of paper. You don’t think about grammar or spelling errors. You don’t worry about punctuation. You just write, and write, and write. Before long, you’ll actually have something to write about.
Anything and everything that comes across your mind, that’s what you write. Don’t censor yourself. And if you have absolutely nothing going on in your mind, write about that.
Example: I have absolutely nthing to write about I kinow nothing at all Tharees nothing kn my brain and I can’t make anything come out on this piece of paper I’m just sititing here with absoulutelyu nothing al all going on in my brain but I might have left the coffee pot on I hope I didn’t then coffee will burn up in the pot and I’ll hav eti clean it out which will tak e me all day long but hat reminds me of a thought I had the other day how this town needs cleaned up from the inside out…
See what I mean? Oh by the way, I intentionally left the errors in place to show you that when you are freewriting, you don’t correct yourself as you go. You’re missing the point if you do. It’s not about writing. It’s about getting thoughts to flow through your mind so that you have something to write about.
When I hit a wall, I walk away. I mean, I completely walk away. I find something else to do and I take my mind off of what I was trying to write. It’s like resetting the brain.
When you have writer’s block, plenty of times it’s because you are too close to your project. Getting away from it and completely taking your mind off of it, your brain will actually start to work in different ways and the juices will begin to flow again. It’s like trying to drive up a muddy hill and you keep getting stuck because you’ve worn a wet and slippery path for yourself. If you change the path, you get a fresh chance to make it up the hill.
A very effective way to get past writer’s block is to give your mind something to think about. Watch the news where information is constantly flowing. Grab a book where you’ll read another writer’s thoughts. Listen to the radio. Do whatever you have to do, but fill your mind with thoughts and information to jump start the juices again.
Writer’s block isn’t merely having something to say and wondering how you are going to say it. It’s staring blankly at a computer screen or a piece of paper and having nothing at all. It’s a scary moment for a writer. Learning how to get past writer’s block is just like anything else. Learn how to get over the obstacles in your path so that you can keep moving forward.