{B}locked

This is how I feel when I’m battling writer’s block.  Sums it up perfectly.

Any writer who claims they have never felt writers block is just plain lying.  They have felt it, they just call it by another name.  And they probably deal with it a whole lot quicker and easier than the rest of us.  In the last few years that I’ve been writing, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to get words on a page.  Without a doubt the most important lesson (learned from Julia Cameron in The Artists Way) is this:

You are never going to permanently overcome writer’s block.  You can, however, learn how to work through it.  Here’s the trick:  make yourself sit at that computer or with pen in hand and just write.  Write awful, disgusting, really horrible drafts.  Just get it out.  Give yourself permission to totally suck (what is revision and editing for, anyway?).  By chipping away on your creative work, step by step, day by day, you are working through writer’s block and will eventually find yourself on the other side.  But it’s not going to happen unless you actually sit down and do the work

Don’t give up.  Don’t let yourself skip today and try again tomorrow, hoping the block won’t be sitting on your page then.  It will be, and it’ll be bigger and fatter than it was the day before.  One day of skipping for me has turned into weeks and months of putting nothing on paper.  It feels awful.  So just sit down and make yourself write 500 words – they can be painful, sloppy, ridiculous words that make your eyes cross, but they are words.  Do this every. single. day.  No exceptions.  And soon that block will get bored with trying to distract you.  Soon, you will find yourself typing away, your fingers moving quickly without much effort on your part, your words getting back on track, your story falling into place.  And suddenly you’ll look up and realize – you’ve worked through it. 

Now, get writing!

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13 thoughts on “{B}locked

  1. Sonia M. says:

    I loved, loved, loved The Artist’s Way. That’s what brought me back to fiction writing after a 15 year hiatus.

    I agree with the “just keep writing, writing, writing” concept. Now, I have found that sometimes a project needs a little down time before it can be completed. My own MIP went on the back burner for months. I really beat myself up over it until I realized that, while the project was sitting and I was writing flash fiction, blogging, etc, I had been learning what I need to know to finish the thing. Now, I’m picking it up with renewed passion. I can finish it now because I gave it time to simmer and gave myself time to pick up a few more writing skills. The trick is to keep writing something.

  2. Misha says:

    Aah I hate blocks.

    I generally write through them, except I then come to a point where my words dry up completely.

    I can’t even draft a blog post.

    So… I wait it out, because the patience for my mind to rearrange its thoughts works faster than getting it into gear after it froze solid.

    And that is generally what my blocks are. I wrote too fast for my mind to settle on the next part of the story…

    I love Julia Cameron’s book, though. It helped me a great deal and is probably the reason why I even finished my first draft.

    🙂

  3. SueH says:

    Thankyou for this – I will revisit this tomorrow when I sit and try urge more ‘output’ for the WIP ! 🙂

    I wonder what you’ve got cooked up for ‘C’ in this series…..?

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