I have writers block. You may not be able to tell it since I seem to be churning out a lot of pieces on the blog. But that is because I can’t really think of anything important to say. I really don’t think most people are interested in the fact that I hung my dartboard very crooked. Or maybe they are and it gives them a good laugh. Mostly I have been writing rather self-centered pieces because I have not been able to think of anything really fabulous to say.
Not that my home projects aren’t interesting. They are to me. But they aren’t really deep and, at least I think, they lack a bit of substance.
So I have writers block. And I hate to admit that because I want you to think that I am a great writer who always has a topic about which to write. I want you to be amazed at what I have to say and the wisdom of my insights.
And it isn’t that I have nothing to write about. I have a lot to write about. I think it is more because thoughts are jumbled up in my head at the moment, and I am not sure in what form they should take. Or which ideas should even be written about. And I am not sure how to make them sound interesting when I do write them. This has never been a problem for me in the past.
So what do you do when you have writers block? Actually Googled it and two sites I found that were helpful are here and here. Some say you should take a few steps back and get away from the blank paper/screen. I have done that. Some say you should concentrate really hard on something and it will come to you. I’ve done that. And all of them say you should just write down whatever, brainstorm, let the ideas flow, and it will come to you. Something will stick. I have been doing that (thus all the posts).
Here are the ways I have found useful:
Write about anything/Brainstorm: This is what I am currently doing, and it is helping. While it gets the creative juices flowing, it can also clear out the cobwebs of all the extraneous stuff that is not useful. Don’t worry about punctuation, spelling, grammar or even if what you are writing is any good. Just write. Plus you might find some nuggets worth keeping that can add that extra spice for your next project/piece.
Step away: Sometimes you just need to clear your mind, get away for a bit. Get some perspective and be fresh when you come back. If you have had a hectic time, or have been writing on a project for while, you might be suffering from mental/emotional fatigue. Taking a break allows us to press the reset button.
Read: Reading helps get you out of your own head and into another frame of mind. I recently wrote a post called To Wirte you Must Read, and it is true. It will also give you ideas for your own writing, how to structure a story, a charactor and such. I don’t read as much as I should. I don’t have time. Which may be one of the reasons I have writers block.
Stick to a schedule and deadline: The schedule part does not work for me because I am not a schedule type person, but many people are. And deadlines keep us focuses so that what we’re writing doesn’t stretch out over decades. If it works for you, use it.
Deal with any outside issues: This is a big one for a lot of people, including me. If a loved one is sick, you are going through a divorce, just lost your job or another issue about which you are very stressed, it may be interfering with your ability to concentrate and be creative. Deal with those issues first, then come back to writing.
Isn’t it the same way in life? What happens when you have “lifeblock”? When you have all these thoughts and ideas in your head about how and what you want your life to be but cannot seem to translate that into anything intelligible?
Maybe, is a combination of how to handle writer’s block. First, stand up and step away from the problem. Get some distance, get your head out of your own thoughts. Then maybe when you come back you can think about it. Then if that doesn’t work take a few steps back, then when you return start brainstorming. Deal with the issues and don’t try to avoid them. Stuffing your emotions in a box deep inside only increases internal pressure. Those emotions will find a way to manifest themselves. Better to deal with them now that to face a box full of ghosts under pressure.
I the last 6 months I have not been very good at dealing with my emotions right then and there. Sometimes you have to put your emotions on the back burner in order to get through a crisis. Sometimes you don’t have time to deal because you are too busy getting through it. That is what I have done.
And I suppose that’s OK, since our lives aren’t going anywhere without us. And that is the great thing about life, we get to write our story. And while we may not get any do overs, we can certainly start a new chapter any time we like. We can change the direction of the story and make our lives what we want them to be.
So pardon me while I work out my writing here, in this space. I may not be posting deep things right now, but know that you are helping me work through my writers block, in this space. And lifeblock as well. No doubt inspiration will be found soon enough.