Tuesday, April 13, 2021

How to Bust Through Writer's Block… for Good

Yes, Virginia, Writer’s Block is real. It comes when you least expect it, when you round a corner of doubt, or when you’re excitedly working toward the end of your story. But how can you chisel your way out of this problematic writer’s block and turn it into an exquisite wooden statue of a bear, an angelic ice sculpture, or your own marble masterpiece?

How Do You Define Writer’s Block?

There are two camps of thought when it comes to Writer’s Block: either you believe it exists or you believe it is hogwash. But that depends on how you define it.

The basic definition of Writer’s Block is when a writer feels unable or uninspired to write or continue writing. 

Does this exist? Do writers ever feel uninspired or unable to continue writing or to start a new project? Absolutely!

Or is it just a bunch of hogwash? Is it all because a writer is being lazy?

There are two types of writer’s block - based on why it happens in the first place. And both camps of thought can peacefully coexist in the world of writing.


Reasons Why Writer’s Block Happens

There are two reasons why a writer faces Writer’s Block. 

  1. It’s an excuse to not write. You’re being lazy. There’s something unpleasant about the imminent writing task placed before you that is making you procrastinate it. This reason is what leads many to believe that Writer’s Block is a myth - pure hogwash.
  2. You’re facing a problem in your writing that you’re struggling to solve. All writers solve problems every time they add a new chapter, a new character, a new action, or start revising their stories. You can’t always simply “write through it.” This reason often requires reflection, deep thought, and different options to try out in order to bust through the mental block.

So if you believe that Writer’s Block doesn’t exist, you’re right (if you’re procrastinating or just being lazy). And if you believe that Writer’s Block does exist, you are also right! Either way, there is a solution to help you cure your Writer’s Block woes.

Three Things to Help Counteract Writer’s Block

Yes, Virginia, there is a cure for Writer’s Block. How do you bust through that tough block of wood in the backyard of your brain? While there are many things you can do to help combat this common writing problem, these are the three best ways to bust through your mental blocks:

  1. Brainstorm. You can brainstorm out loud with others or brainstorm silently on paper all by yourself. Either way, brainstorming is a powerful way to help you see more options. When you see several paths laid out before you, it’s much easier to take a single step - a leap of faith - than when you are staring at a brick wall thinking you have to somehow figure out how to scale it.
  2. Run (or walk). Running (and of course walking too), is a proven method with science to back it up to help a person become (and stay) more creative. Even horseback riding works! Sure, doing chores or mindlessly watching TV can help switch your brain’s airwaves and trigger a new thought the next time you return to your writing, but running is magical. It has to do with CSF, or Cerebrospinal Fluid. It’s a clear liquid that runs through the spinal cord to the brain, which stimulates neurological reactions. So go for a run!
  3. Go to a writing retreat. If you’re facing a funk due to lack of inspiration, a writing retreat works wonders. Workshops and conferences are good too, but a retreat is my favorite. If you’re struggling with revisions, a writing retreat can provide you with fellow writers to give you personal feedback in real life. A writing retreat can provide you with inspiration, collaboration, feedback, learning, and so much more. Find out about the Writers Who Run Retreat and get added to the waitlist for 2023.

QUESTION: How often do you take your writing with you when you head out for a jaunt? Share about a time when it helped solve one of your plot problems. Share your comment here.

Keep on keepin' on... 

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