You have so many plans to have a productive day of writing, whether that be doing a review of something or making some progress on that novel. Then you sit down to begin and you just go blank. It’s one of the most frustrating feelings in the world. Even when you know exactly what you want to say, sometimes the words just won’t flow. If there is one thing that has driven me up the wall for years; it’s writer’s block. After all, when you have a dream of getting a novel published by the time you’re twenty-five and you want to do as much writing as possible, it’s infuriating to get stuck. So why am I writing about writer’s block? Because it means facing up to the problem. It means searching for a solution. It means finding a way back to productivity.
People may read this and think: get over yourself, stop procrastinating and just write. That’s the thing though, sometimes the inspiration isn’t there, sometimes life distracts you from what you really want to be doing. Sometimes pressure to produce work prevents progress, other times you get intimidated by the standard you hope to achieve. There have apparently been some scientific studies into the idea of the writer’s block and numerous books, but as with a lot of things, there’s no definitive conclusion as to why it happens.
So if there’s no definitive cause, how the hell can you figure out how to fix it? If you look at the Wikipedia article on writer’s block as I have been for the past few minutes while writing this, things like group discussion, journals, free writing and brainstorming, list making, and engaging with the text help. Uncovering the writing process helps too, apparently. In many ways, writing this short piece is a sort of structured form of free-writing. I’m working in the manner I always do, just letting my hands do the typing and seeing where it leads me. Considering I’m managing to make progress here I suspect it is helping me get back into the mood in which I am at my most creative.
Rodea: The Sky Soldier, a game that’s helping me regain the creativity to write even though it’s narrative is very simple from what I’ve played so far. (Source)
I also think the fact that I’m starting to engage in the things I enjoy again is helping. The other day I got a brand new game (Rodea: The Sky Soldier) for the first time in what felt like forever (though I did only play Transformers: Devastation a couple of weeks ago, it feels like longer). I’ve got tickets booked to see a Star Wars concert and Kenneth Branagh’s production of The Winter’s Tale broadcast in cinemas, and I am so excited for both. Maybe it’s the prospect of a week without work that’s getting my brain pumped up to do things.
So Much Better – How I’m feeling right now.
Either way, I’m going to use this week to attempt to kick the writer’s block I’ve been suffering. I’m going to set up a battle plan like I used to do at university and I’m going to stick to it (get those list-making juices flowing). The initial goal is to create one blog post every day for this week as a free-writing exercise, then turn that into actual progress on my novel along with one blog post every week going forward. With the battle-plan and writing happening I should be able to then be productive in everything else, like my YouTube channel, searching for a full time job, and so on. It’s another fresh start in a way, but I’m hoping it’s one that sticks. Getting stuck in a rut is never fun, especially when that rut is writer’s block.
For those writer’s out there who’ve been suffering writer’s block or are in need of some encouragement: You can do this! Even famous writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and the guy behind Peanuts, Charles M. Schulz, have struggled with it at times. If needs be, try and get on top of anything that is bothering you and then come back to writing with a battle plan. Find something that inspires you and use it to do what you need to do! It may not be much, but as with every cliché, just believe in yourself and beat that writer’s block into submission!