10 Ways to banish writer's block
I don't believe in writer's block; it's a myth spread throughout the writers' community.
This excuse hides the fact you don't feel inspired, motivated or even interested in your work.
Instead, ask yourself, 'Why can't I write?'
Here are 10 ways to wash away bad habits and get you back on track.
Determine your intention and goals:
Set yourself targets and deadlines. Setting realistic goals with worthwhile rewards will motivate you. I write my deadlines on a wipe board, which encourages me to keep to them.
You need to know when you are at your most productive.
I work best in the late afternoons, I also find a writing routine helps, it prompts you to work and make you more productive.
Organise your time into bite-size, manageable amounts.
This way, you can come back to your project feeling refreshed, and not freeze up from working too long. Also, forcing creativity just leaves you feeling bad about yourself and your work.
Find a workspace in the home for your work.
After you finish work, leave the room and switch off. If you relax in the same place you work, you're not correctly switching off, which can cause the sensation associated with writers' block.
Silence the negative voice in your head.
It will sabotage you before you even start and tell you to give up. Your anxiety will tell you; your work isn’t good enough because your mind can't visualise see the end outcome. When you do sit down to write, confront your emotions head-on. Listen to your mind and question your emotions.
How can I help?
Beware of procrastination.
The home environment is the worst for procrastination. It enables us to do chores and 'forget' about our writing projects. By recognising the temptation, you can do your daily tasks first, before starting your work.
There's nothing better than writing without the distraction of music or TV. When you're alone with your thoughts, the words will flow, and you will get more done.
Turn off your phone.
You don't need it, and any information you do need is accessible on your laptop. By scrolling through Facebook, you're allowing procrastination to set in. I don't know what it is with browsing the ‘net or social media sites, but it consumes much-needed writing time. Make your writing space a no social media area.
Adopt writing practices which help generate ideas.
Allow your writing to flow. Free write is a writing technique where you write without correcting for a set time. You then go back through the work and draw circles around any golden nuggets. You can study photos or pick a random word from the dictionary for inspiration. These techniques will help build your confidence and motivate you to write.
Make a list and include non-writing tasks. Motivate yourself by jotting down small tasks. You could get up before 9 am, make the bed, write for ten minutes, do the dishes, write for ten minutes, make some food. Even if you only write for ten minutes daily, you can tick it off and feel like you have accomplished something. These small achievements grow your confidence and motivate you to write.
At times, writing may feel impossible, but using writers' block as an excuse is not the answer.
It's a state of mind caused by outside factors.
You could be taking on too much, receive negative feedback or not finding the work interesting. All of these can knock your confidence and kill your motivation.
Once you step back from feeling overwhelmed and realise you don't lack creativity, you can motivate yourself to push past the negativity.
You can banish the idea of writers' block from your mind for good.