Do you write?
Then at some point you have had writers block. Do you want to break your writers block? Want to know the secret? Read on …
So why are you doing this? Torturing yourself writing 52 stories in a year? I hear myself ask these questions and more. Most I couldn’t write here, not fit for print. I try to ignore myself but I’m very annoying and persistant. So I’m forced to answer.
I’m doing this to make myself to write again. I love writing but back in 2004-ish I got writers block. I’ve always been a procrastinator, so I always had difficulty writing. This block though was something else. It was solid. I tried writing a few times from 2004 onwards but I always got stuck and stopped. The self questioning and self judgement was to much. I tried Nanowrimo a number of times, my writing briefly took off, but even the fun of that just couldn’t hold and I crashed and burned. It was a rock solid writers block. Tall and wide, with a very angry dragon on top.
It didn’t help that my person life exploded in 2006/7/8 in the biggest ways. A daughter, emigration, divorce, new partner, two new jobs, at least seven house moves and so on. I had a lot going on and the writers block just kept getting more solid. I could blog, sometimes. Even that was rare though. I had a very successful blog, for a while it rivalled Neatorama in its statistics. I couldn’t keep it going though. The block now had multiple dragons. Those dragons even had little dragons on top of them! The writers block was epically grand, and yet I still thought of myself as a writer.
I noticed in 2011 that Trying to write didn’t help me at all.
What helped me was actually writing. In fact allow me to say that again: The only thing that helped me to write was sitting down and writing.
Not reading about it, talking about it, buying the latest book on how to do it or thinking really hard about it. I did all those and it didn’t work. Constantly writing is the only way to break writers block. Once a day or once a week. I don’t care which but don’t leave it longer than that. You have to write regularly or that block starts to form.
I’m so very lucky that my partner is supportive and gives me time and space to write in. I’m even more lucky in that I get lots of help and encouragement. My writers block still exists, but its small now. About the size of a bar of soap, with a tiny dragon footprint in it. It’s under control because I’m writing every week.
If you suffer from writers block this is how to beat it. WRITE. Your output may suck, you may hate what you write but it will improve. Then you’ll write a good line, a nice snappy piece of dialogue, and you’ll go ‘ooh.’ and smile to yourself. With that the writers block starts to crumble.
So what’s the secret? Non exists. Writing is work. If you don’t keep your writing flowing that huge wall forms. So no magic bullet. Here’s what could work for you as well, and it is an easy guide to follow, it only has four steps. If I can follow this, you can:
1. Look into yourself. You really want to be a writer? Make sure? Click here if No. Goto 2 if yes.
2. Carve out a time to write in. A set time when you will have some peace. No kids, partners, chores or whatever. It has to be YOUR TIME. If you cannot do this you cannot write. You are adding bricks to your writers block wall and putting down dragon food. The ideal is every day. That’s impossible in most people’s lives though so try for once a week to start with. Give yourself not one hour, or two but at least three, ideally four, uninterrupted hours to write in.
3. Stick to 2. Always. No excuses. If you miss your slot, and I know life gets in the way, then here is what you do – you have to force your slot in before your next writing time comes around. Don’t say ‘Oh I missed it, well I’ll just do it next week.‘ No and a thousand times no. That way lies the path to the writers block and dragons. You must write every week at least. That means if you miss one you have to force yourself to catch up.
4. Set a reasonable goal. At least 500 words a week. Ideally 1000-2000. Stephen King may pump out 2000 words a day, but here’s the thing – you are not Stephen King. You have a real job, a real life and have to juggle those. Sight your sights to a reasonable level and stick to it. After you have a few months of managing that then, and only then, raise your goals. This reminds me of a saying, ‘Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.’ Start solidly, steadily and build up. Don’t burn yourself out or frustrait yourself into quitting.
4. Stick to 2, 3 and 4. If you do this you’re writing, you’re a writer. Each time you go through these steps the writers block goes down. The dragons will slowly leave, they’ll probably go to set up residence on other writers walls.
It gets easier as time goes on but only if you write.