Inspiration: Why I Don’t Get Writer’s Block
Why I Don’t Get Writer’s Block
So why don’t I get writer’s block? At first, it might seem as if I am being pompous and self-important, but bear with me; I usually have a point to make. As writers and authors, we often hear about this dreaded syndrome called ‘Writer’s Block’. There are a thousand and one articles written about this topic, with a million and one remedies. Let me give you another one ….
To begin, a little about why I seldom suffer from writer’s block. First, it’s important to change your internal language. If you love something, don’t use negative words and phrases in conjunction with it. Forget about the martyrdom and angst. I’m not being deliberately harsh when I say this; it’s basic human psychology. We prefer to avoid what we perceive as the unpleasant. Why not remove dread and avoidance from the outset?
When you suffer, you cannot possibly enjoy yourself. Writer’s block implies a blockage, not a dreaded disease. This affliction is not contagious, and it’s not nearly as terminal as it might seem at the time. Mostly, it’s a state of mind. Those of you who have read my self-help books will recognise my proactive, self-empowerment approach. It’s not a gimmick; it’s a way of life.
Therefore, the first step in rehabilitation is in choosing not to be a helpless victim, held hostage to your writer’s block. Yes, you have that power. You are a creative human being; be enthused. Writer’s block often stems from fear of many things, including failure or inadequacy. Let them go as these fierce emotions hold you back from failure as well as success.
Some might think that I am being glib, or making light of the situation, and this is a fearful reaction too. What are you afraid of then? What holds you back from your chosen path? These questions are not a judgement, but rather an encouragement for introspection. Being a good writer doesn’t require a tortured soul. A little vulnerability keeps your sentences human, but too much prevents growth.
Your challenge is to become confident in your literary talents. In all honesty, this can take a short time to develop, or a lifetime. Everyone is different, but it’s your decision to make, so please make it sooner rather than later. Many people think that comfort zones are always comfortable and cushy. They are often uncomfortable because you need to move out of them, and into a new segment of your life. Writer’s block is as much a comfort zone as denial. Writer’s block can be used as a way to excuse the perceived laziness of not writing. A very important step forward is to remove the guilt from your life.
“Oh dear … I should be writing!”
Why should you be writing? Is it because you have a goal, or because people will think poorly of you? Be it a novel or an article such as this one, there is only one ‘should’ when it comes to writing: you should write because you want to do so. Does it sound too humble to be that simple a truth? It’s really not because I only write when I feel like it, and this very piece is a good example.
Some might say I should be advancing my current novel. I say that I am writing, and writing what I feel like today. This sunny afternoon, this is what I want to furiously type out, because readers such as yourself need to read my words. So, what is my point, and how does it tie into the writer’s block syndrome?
I don’t feel like writing fiction; non-fiction is the order of the day. I don’t need an excuse or an apology for my actions. You might be terribly disappointed by my veracity, and for some, the immediate reaction is to shame and shun, forcing me to write some snazzy prose for my novel. Naturally, that won’t work, but it will give me cause to chuckle in the most hearty of fashions. Thankfully, I am now finally beyond giving two hoots about what other people’s fears dictate.
How can you achieve the same level of confidence, and keep that loathsome writer’s block at bay? Tell yourself that it doesn’t exist. Be bold and admit to yourself that you simply have no desire to write today. It’s allowed, and the only one holding the punishing whip is your mind. No fluffy penguins chicks will be clubbed to death; the world will not swing off its access; the hills will not collapse and the seas will not rush inland. The worst that will happen is that you will not write anything. It’s okay; it’s not fatal.
Finally, here is a bit of advice: when stuck for words, write something else. This is why I am writing these very sentences. What you write is not nearly as important as the fact that you continue to put pen to paper. If your novel is boring you to tears, tirades, and tantrums, go pen something else that animates you. Forced writing also reads forced.
Later on, I might go write another few thousand words for my work in progress, but I might not, and guess what? I’m really quite content with that fact. I have written around a thousand words so far, and I’m not quite finished. This is the true secret to ‘writing success’. Always write when, and what you desire to at the time. There is a difference between making excuses for not wanting to write, and being stuck with the plot. Don’t make excuses, and the freedom from the burden of self-imposed guilt will motivate you to write even more.
Go write something silly, fun, or serious, but do go write something. You will be so glad you did because writer’s block will be something other authors experience; you have been inoculated, and set free. Writing is a magnificent experience, so don’t taint it with negativity and excuses. Write because you want to, and the very act makes your spirit soar with passion and fulfilment.
What was I saying again? Oh yes, go write something inspired.
Do You Get Writer’s Block?
Let me know in the comments box below, and let’s start a discussion.