Writers block is a tough wall to have dropped in your way. I think writer’ s block has kept me from producing as much as I could. It happens in one of it’s smallest forms when we stare at a paper or blank computer page and wonder what to write.
I hope this helps you.
Learn About the Bricks in Your Wall
In order to take apart what is keeping you from writing, you need to see what you can see about the components of this wall between you and your writing.
Everything later on in this list, I’ve noticed, really just helps you learn about those bricks and yourself, while giving you new tools to take care of your writing-self, if not your whole self. (Or that’s how this works for me.)
So, here’s a few bricks that I’ve seen.
Lack of Inspiration
You’re afraid that you’ve run out of either ideas for your current project or chosen form, or you’re afraid that you’ll never have any idea ever for anything. Even if you do write, it seems to be awful.
You’ll find your inspiration again. Be kind to you. You are a writer, and it will return. Kindness will bring it back faster than punishment. Be kind to you.
Fear of Imperfection
You’re afraid that you won’t be good enough. You’re afraid to start something and mess it up so bad that you’ll never set it right.
It’s okay. I know it isn’t perfect. It doesn’t need to be.
This brick has a couple varieties. Either you’re tired of this project, or you’re sick of putting words to paper.
It happens to everyone.
So, what should be done about those bricks, or any others I didn’t mention?
Try these four things and keep looking at those bricks to see what reveals itself.
Meditation and Prayer
In short, do whatever it is that makes you calm down from the inside out.
Use the Tools on Writing Sites
Look at a couple writing prompts. Play with electronic poetry kits. Play with something that takes a paragraph and chops it up in some way or another.
The idea is to see words in a different way.
Go Outside -or- Do Stuff Away from Home
Take a walk around the perimeter of the house. Go see a movie. Go walk around the park. Whatever it is, actively involve yourself. Willingly create a different headspace for yourself.
The point is to not think worriedly about the writing you’re not doing and the inspiration you fear losing. If some idea should come to you, jot it down. You may want to write while you’re out. That’s okay, even good, because even though this isn’t something you do to get ideas or to think directly about your writing, it may loosen some ideas, and ideas are rad.
Don’t freak out if nothing shows; it’s not necessarily meant to. It’s more likely, I think, that your ideas will show their little shy faces when you get back home. (I know my ideas need to know I’m in a safe place before they show.) You just want to make space for your ideas to thrive.
The next one is a related idea.
Listen to different music than normal. Read different stuff. Go somewhere different. Take a new route to work or the store. Listen to music that you don’t normally listen to, but that you like.
The idea is, again, to help you create a different headspace for yourself while adding in the idea of experiencing it as an artist.
Elizabeth Berg called it “a sticky soul”. It’s the ability to wrap your soul around something and take its shape and wonderfulness (or horridness) home with you. To me, such a thing is at once extremely dangerous and extremely wonderful. It makes you inestimably vulnerable to everything, good or bad, but it is the one way I’ve been able to see things in my own way.
Don’t worry about not getting ideas while doing this, though. It may be that the thing or things you just did are not what your brain needs to really make the headspace it needs. Or, maybe you’ll wind up doing the same thing as the above suggestion. That’s okay. My mind doesn’t like writing anywhere else other than on my couch at home with very specific tools, even though I’ve tried many times. But I have cultivated that “sticky soul”, which I think is the better result, anyway. And I keep trying. Surely, someday, it’ll work..right? :)
<3 Love you.