Belief in writer’s block is like belief in failure. If you believe you will fail, you will fail. If you believe in writer’s block, you will be blocked. There is never a good reason you can’t write. There may be a reason you can’t write well. The story isn’t coming alive for you or you don’t have a good explanation for the next section. Don’t let that stop you. You’ll catch it in the revision.
You Can Always Write Something
If you don’t know the material you’re writing about, you’re writing the wrong thing. If you are stuck on what to write next, don’t do something else. Stay right there until you find something to write. You never need to stop a valid writing project because of some imaginary block. Write about being stuck and then write the details of the problem. Propose theories, even impossible ones, and keep working over the problem. As long as you keep writing, you will get to the solution eventually.
I’ve written before about having more than one project as a way to beat writer’s block. If you really can’t move ahead on a project, switching to another project may be the solution.
Anything you believe is preventing you from writing is a false belief. The needs for food, sleep and shelter are real, but you should have those covered before you sit down to write. Everything else about our personal and social lives is illusion created by us. We choose what is important. Don’t imagine other tasks to escape from writing. Use your imagination to write instead.
“Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.” – Stephen King
You should never stop because of a feeling that what you’re writing is bad quality. That’s why we have revisions. Maybe what you’re writing will be so bad that it ends up in your failure folder. So what?
It’s better to write three articles and have two flop than to spend the same amount of time writing only one good article. Eventually you will be able to write three good articles in that time.
Follow the Leader
Sometimes your writing will carry you away in directions you never expected. By all means, go with it. But, when it stops leading, you take over. You are the master of your writing, not its slave. You must ultimately decide where your writing is going.
Do you still feel like writer’s block is a problem for you. By all means, research it. There are entire websites dedicated to the subject. If you can’t get over it using the few simple ideas above, learn more. My blog post, Writer’s Block: Myth or Reality? has an extensive list of ways to deal with the problem and turn it into a myth. However you proceed, if you are ever going to be a prolific writer you must learn to kill writer’s block today.
Article by Ivan Izo.