Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Block Writer's Block!

Pounding your fists on your desk! Pulling your Hair!
Welcome to Writer's Block!
"I can't think! I can't do this! My mind is everywhere else but here! I hate writing! Think...think...think...I need new ideas! The words were coming out so quickly, but now it feels like my brain is jumbled, a thick haze has settled over me." 

As a writer you know exactly where I'm heading...writer's block. You have faced this at some point and if you haven't yet, don't worry, it'll hit you quite unexpectedly There are many different kinds of writer's block that we can face, but first things first. What exactly is writer's block? I'm sure you have heard it and you may have even nodded your head in agreement, but what is it? Writer's block is simply that dreadful, annoying, irritating, sensation when we cannot think of absolutely anything. In simpler terms: we have hit a block in our road and it feels like as high as you jump over that block or try to move it, it's just there. Heavy and stubborn in our road. It feels like the inspiration we had moments ago is gone, lost.

There are many factors that lead to this wicked tie that stops our thinking process:

  • Lack of interest in what you're writing
  • Under stress
  • Depression
  • Lost of focus
  • Having little information about the topic
  • Too tired to think
These are just a few to name. Writer's block is a writer's greatest enemy. This terrible dilemma happens to suck all of our ideas away, eating our ideas and the inspiration that was there moments ago. Believe me, the moment my inspiration vanishes I begin to think what an idiot I am and how I'll never reach this deadline or write a page more in my manuscript. Those small yet convincing thoughts can either get real comfortable or can get uncomfortable. Writer's block is normal for all writers. It happens so easily, especially when we are on a roll. I always tell myself (and others) that when I'm on a roll and the ideas show no sign of stopping, I won't stop. It's not that I won't stop, I can't. There are too many thoughts and ideas running through my mind and if I were to push them away I fear my characters would hate me for it. 

Writer's Block....when my characters won't talk to me
So writer's block. Just like our ideas know when to bother us most, writer's block knows exactly when to irritate us and set us off. Recently I was composing a story. Blake was proposing to Emilee...or at least that's how it was in my mind. On paper it turned out differently. Why? I was blocked with the dreadful and painful, unwelcoming block that happened to fall in my path. I couldn't think. So instead, Blake turns to Emilee and expresses his feelings--not performing a direct proposal. What to do, I thought. I closed the document and walked away from my computer. I had to release some irritation, drink tea, take many deep breaths, and refocus. Once I did this, I came back and found a mind that was ready to tackle the rest of the story from the right end. 

We need breaks. Everyone needs breaks. Whether we are working a job from 8-5 or writing from 8-5. We need breaks. Writing is a full-time job and it requires the same amount of breaks that any other job gets. Having writer's block can make us crunch with frustration, irritation. It feels like we have hit a dead end and there's no way out. Don't despair, there is a WAY. Feeling this way is normal, but walking away from it and not nipping it the right way will weaken our ability. 

How will you know you have writer's block? Very easy.
  • When you have been staring at a blank monitor or paper for a long amount of time. 
That's all. Don't walk away from your work forever, just for an hour or so. Come back to it. Tackle it, and if you are still struggling, reconsider what you are writing about. Understand that writer's block will come. It will always come, but don't wait for it. When it comes, try to fight it off. If that seems impossible, set your work down and come back later with a clearer and opener mind. It's not worth it to write senselessly for just a certain word count when eventually you lose track. Stay on the road, take breaks, and refuel your mind with great literature for a greater understanding. Reading selections from your favorite author is a helpful tool to consider. 

Write always. Write when it hurts. Write when it's inconvenient. Write to bring the writing juices back. And do not let the obstacle of writer's block stop you from the life you have chosen to take--the journey of writing!