I can only speak for myself, but I find writer’s block to be one of the most challenging aspects of writing.
There isn’t a writer alive that hasn’t struggled with writer’s block. We all know what it is, and we all have different ways of dealing with it. For me, it can take weeks to overcome, or it can take minutes. It may be the same for you.
Whatever the case may be, there are so many ways to challenge writer’s block, but it’s important to note that whatever is blocking you, it’s up here *gestures wildly to noggin*.
The easiest way I can overcome writer’s block is to not write. That may seem counterproductive, but writer’s block, as a principle, is counterproductive. Attempting to struggle through it, to force words from their spaces, wedges within the folds of your brain, can be even more detrimental to your piece than if you simply just take a break.
Again, I can only speak for myself, but whenever I am faced with a hideous bout of writer’s block, my first instinct is to just power through it anyway.
And I have produced garbage, nonsense, drivel, because of it. Whatever form trash takes, that is what appears before me when I force my creative cogs to keep spinning. The steam comes pouring out of my ears, the lights start to dim as the power surges, and then- garbage.
Taking a break, letting your mind focus on other things, is actually incredibly beneficial for your mental health. An overworked brain is a borderline useless brain. If I need to take a step back, be it for an hour or a week, I let other creative outlets take hold, and let my writing simmer on the back burner. It’s still cooking back there, it just won’t boil over and wreck your stove like it would if you had it cranked up for no reason. And, nothing gets burned and winds up tasting terrible.
Taking a creative break for me looks like reading a comforting book, working on my paintings, getting outside with a camera, taking a drive with my truly obnoxious Celtic music drowning out my sorrows.
So ask yourself:
- Why do I seem to be stalled with my writing?
- Am I simply out of ideas? Do I need new inspirations?
- Should I work at a faster or slower pace, to even out my productivity?
- What activities to I enjoy that might give me a mental break?
- What activities may give me some inspiration?
- Do I have a timeline to complete my work?
- Should I space out my timeline?
You could have a completely different process than I do. For many of you, relaxing probably doesn’t involve listening to fiddle music about drunken donkeys. But you do have a process, or at the very least, you should.
Many writers tend to have the workaholic complex, that voice that says, if I am not writing, writing, writing until I drop, I am getting nowhere *raises hand guiltily*. Tell that voice to shut up.