Like any writing project, no matter how big or small, the fact of the matter is: Writer’s Block (WB) can come at any time.
As a writer at heart, I can empathize with the fact that for most authors, the joy and privilege that comes with putting time into their novel happens only after a list of other priorities is completed. Most first-time authors are dealing with a job, a family, social relationships, personal struggles, which only leaves few hours of the day to think about—much less work on—their desired writing project. Add to that the complications of writer’s block and you’re dealing with a hurdle that seems only achievable by Paul Bunion type characters.
The beauty of writing any type of work, be it fictional or factual, is that you get to add your own flair to it—and that flair is what sets you apart from any other author out there. And while at times our personal flair flows as easily as Niagara Falls, at other times it is as dry as California.
In my case the loss of flair and the demanding schedule all culminates; and in no time flat, the dreaded WB has ensued. Simply put, this is a common obstacle for any writer—but there are steps to bring you back from the block.
1.Most importantly—do not rush yourself.
Stress is already inevitable in life, why add it to your writing process? When WB creeps up on you—just breathe. Sometimes taking a step back from your work is the best time to find inspiration, clarity, and cohesiveness in your writing process.
2. Carry a “Thought Journal” for the inspiration that reaches out to you amongst your daily routine.
As a freelance writer, I used to be the Queen of “book writing” throughout my day and I cannot even say how many restaurant napkins endured my penning of thoughts and notes.
While this idea of jotting down quick thoughts was fantastic, at the end of the day my scribbled notes were nothing more than smeared and chaotic ponders that rarely made any sense when sitting down to actually write.
Yes—we never know when inspiration will strike (between the carpool and the business luncheon), but to beat the loss of thought processing, a quick note to self in a journal designated for this part of the writing process is key. Something about ruled paper or a word document screen will hold you to more accountability than just the flimsy integrity of a restaurant’s paper drink coaster—this I promise you.
3. Create and Adhere to a schedule for your writing process.
I myself have a schedule for my own writing process—and even still, WB attacked that schedule with a pretty big bite. However, due to the fact I already had a schedule in place, I was held accountable for my writing work. Amongst all the demands of my day, my schedule held the need for me to take a step back, jot down a few musing thoughts in my thought journal, and at best I would come out 3 days behind schedule, instead of weeks off the mark.
In closing, don’t let writer’s block be detrimental to your writing process. My 3 steps to beating WB are, of course, only suggestions, but I hope they add to the success of your finalized writing project. Please keep in mind, there will be times when the work flows simple and easy, and moments when it dries up—but do not let hope be lost, persevere!