Writer’s Block: Cause and Solution
What the Web Tells Us About Writer’s Block
Writer’s block is often portrayed as a crippling state in which the writer simply cannot write. As a result, It is the writer’s most feared adversary.
Furthermore, it is often thought that the cure to writers block is either to write whatever gibberish comes to mind or wait until inspiration returns, neither of which are very appealing options.
I am here to reassure you that writer’s block is a perfectly normal part of the writing process, and that it can not only be worked around, but can be essential in the creation of quality writing.
What Can Cause A Block?
Known as the ‘blank page syndrome’. This form of writers block has a lot to do with self trickery. Somehow, when we see a blank page, we lose faith in our ability to fill the spaces. Our thoughts start to race and we see the end way, way off in the distance. At these times, you just need to calm yourself. A little writing every day will get you to the final goal. Nobody expects you to achieve everything at once.
Lack of Motivation
Let’s face it, writing is difficult. It takes a lot of time and effort. It causes a lot of frustration, so it comes as no surprise that a writer’s motivation falters. Do not let it worry you. If you truly enjoy writing, then you will always return to it with renewed passion.
Lack of Information
Today you decided that it would be a great idea to write a story about an orphan, but you know nothing about orphanages or children. You just have your own mash of experiences and book learning, and this is not making you feel confident. That’s alright. All this means is that you want to be a credible author, you want the facts strait. The internet is here to help.
Similar to the first cause of writer’s block, a writer’s own self criticism can prevent them from writing. It can be easy to get trapped in the cycle of “I can’t writing anything good so I won’t write anything at all”. At times like these, remember to give yourself a break. For taking the time to seek out advice, you are already a much better writer than you believe and if you feel truly dissatisfied, then know that you don’t have to share your writing until you feel the time is right.
Solutions to Writer’s Block
Find a Writing Prompt
With hundreds of available prompts including single words, scenarios, pictures, and entire plot lines, there is certainly something for you.
Go For a Walk
It doesn’t matter if you are at work or at home, staring at a page for hours can put you to sleep. I know that you were told to write, but while you’re not doing anything you might as well go for a short walk. This will clear the fog from your head, lighten your mood, give you time to mull over any problems, and possibly lead to some people watching inspiration.
Research and Planning
This may include the research of real world facts, determining the rules of your world, or putting down plot points. You might ask yourself, “What does my character want?”. Often a lack of knowledge will hinder our writing as we strive for nothing less than perfection in the portrayal of our story’s characters and world.
If what you don’t know will not kill you or your character, try leaving a blank space with instructions to fill in the information later. This happens to me often with character names and places. This method should be used sparingly or else you risk finding gaps in your story when you go back to edit. Nobody likes to do something twice.
Read Other Stories
When you read the work of other authors, you instinctively pick out what you like and don’t like about the writing, characters, and plot. In doing so you may get ideas for your own writing. I like to think that I can write something even better by the time I’m finished.
Read About Writing
With all the free time you have from not writing, you have a whole new opportunity to better yourself. Plus, I find that after a while you will realize that you already know how to write and, since you are now bored of wasting your time on the internet, you will quickly get back to writing.
Listen to Music
For those times that you know what you want to write, but don’t feel like writing, some good music can put you in the proper mood.
Listen to Free Music
Try a New Perspective
This is useful for those who have re-written a scene several times, but remain unsatisfied with the results. Often I discover that starting the scene from the perspective of a different character or moving it back or forward in time can be just what was needed to move ahead.
Follow Your Desire
Abandon the current writing task and take a break. Just remember to return to writing. I find that switching between different stories helps. This way I can still be somewhat productive.
Most Importantly, have fun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
You will know me as Denny B. Reese.
I grew up in Whitby ON, nestled between the mystery of Toronto and the perseverance of Oshawa, as I saw it.
I dedicated myself to writing at a young age. I still remember the summer when I brought my diary to the cottage so that I could fill it with a fantasy story I had dreamed about. Every day events never did interest me enough to write down. In my time, I have been influenced by the works of Tamora Pierce, Emily Rodda, Mary Stanton, Holly Black, and Jonathan Stroud.
Comically enough, English was one of my worst subjects, but I loved the impact of words so much that I later pursued a degree in this area. There have also been many times where I was ready to give up on writing, but when words failed me the love for my characters and their imaginary world pulled me forward. Writing is now the greatest and most fulfilling challenge in my life.
WRITE FOR REUTS
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