Dealing with writer’s block
We all go through moments when we have a surge of creativity. It just pours out of us like an unruly bottle of bubbly, almost as though this fountain of wonderful ideas will never end. But it ends, there is always an end. Even if we like to ignore the inevitability of it returning. It is not something that is solely experienced by writers though. You know all creative fields have their moments of blockage. It really feels like the actual fluidity of the ideas is gone. I guess in some ways that is what happens. The mind just can’t quite keep going.
I went through a fair amount of years where I had writer’s block. Everything I wrote came across in the most mediocre way possible, I wasn’t even sure if I still had a voice of my own left.
After some time, it started to dawn on me that I was putting way too much emphasis on what I was trying to achieve. Increasing the idea of it needing to be perfect straight from the get-go. This is just a ridiculous notion to live by, well for me in any case. It takes up so much time and nothing ever lives up to some standard that has no business being a part of the measuring tools. So here are some of the less than average things I do to deal with my writer’s block:
- Ignore the writing
This may sound a bit silly to some of you, but it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to neglect the writing to a degree. Creating this distance between the work and myself helps me achieve a different viewpoint while relieving some of the pressure. It can be a burden on the mind if you spend too much time on one topic as you will eventually go around in a circle of your own thoughts.
- Read articles on related topics
In times where there is little to write about or even few ideas coming to mind it can be helpful to read about related topics. I find when I write about vehicles in various capacities it is somewhat inspirational to read articles relating to vehicle performance or upcoming releases.
- Read what I have out loud
I find that I have moments when I can get words out, but they just seem dull or out of place. I tend to read these bits out loud to myself repeatedly to establish what it is that does not work in the sentence or paragraph. I will often change the wording until it sounds right.
- Play music
This may seem a bit obvious. Playing music helps the creative process quite bit, at least for myself and pretty much most people I know. The right music can inspire the best possible outcome. Think of it as having the same function as a movie or series soundtrack, think of how it carries the full emotion of a specific scene.
- Something completely different
This is about taking your mind off the project without totally ignoring its existence. Something like cooking where you are busy but still have a little capacity to think about your writing.
- Discuss the topic with myself/someone else
I spend time discussing a topic with myself to try and evoke a spark for the beginning of an idea. Even to carry on with an article as I do get stuck right in the middle, like I have lost may train of thought. Talking with another person who is privy to the information prior to publishing is also a great way of seeing how your work is being interpreted.
- Write and subtract
Another tactic to writing with little inspiration could be simply writing anyway. I find myself getting lost in topic ideas rather than the written part. I will just write as much as possible and then take to subtracting and refining the work to something that sounds and reads well.
One thing I maintain is a continuous flow of writing. I do not step away from the desk for longer than a day otherwise the theme of losing creativity continues and becomes more difficult to reign in. I experience writing to be a lot like muscle memory, you must keep practicing to gain certain confidence and ease in your writing. Yet if you allow it to slip away without pushing through the difficulties it will inevitably dwindle.
You do not have to write something that is perfect, writing something that is honest and in your voice is what truly matters when connecting with your audience.
Write with passion, write with a goal in mind.