Writer’s block does not exist.
It is the ghost of anxiety, confusion, stress and emotions. Since ghosts don’t exist, you don’t have to worry about writer’s block, right?
If you call yourself a writer, you probably have a bone to pick with that statement. Sure, it exists. Writers deal with the frustration on a regular basis and there are hundreds of books available on the subject.
The truth is that you have the power to banish writer’s block.
Four Steps to Banish a Ghost
Here are four steps to getting rid of writer’s block and developing a prolific and productive writing schedule.
1. Convince yourself writer’s block is a ghost. It is not a physical ailment. It is the manifestation of your own emotional state, which you have control over. It has nothing to do with some magic thing called inspiration.
2. Define your ghost. What keeps you from writing? Are you worried about something else? Are you worried about your ability as a writer? Figure out what you really need to address in order to write.
3. Deal with the ghost. If something outside of yourself or your writing is causing the block, then deal with it. Perhaps you had an argument with a friend or need to deal with an ongoing health issue. Even if you resolve the issue, take the first steps. Just that much may reduce anxiety.
4. Push through the ghost. Sometimes, frustration or emotional baggage hangs around despite your best efforts. In these cases, push through and start writing anyway. Start a free-writing exercise about your problem or feelings, and then move into actual work. Writing usually follows Newton’s Law of Motion. Once you get going, it’s a lot easier!
Keeping Writer’s Block at Bay
Of course, dealing with one manifestation of writer’s block certainly doesn’t remove all your personal problems. You obviously cannot let every single issue get in the way of your writing. Some people find themselves in an infinite loop, always dealing with anxieties or other issues, and never writing.
Here are some tips for using the four steps above without losing all your writing time:
- Set a time for writing and stick to it. Make sure you take care of obligations and problems before your writing time whenever possible.
- Let your friends and family know about your writing time. Once you get going, a sudden interruption by a spouse or others can be the fastest way to stir up a block.
- If you find yourself stuck and know something is bothering you, set a timer for ten minutes and free write about it. Imagine a conversation about the issue and write it out. Getting things off your chest and onto paper is a great way to clear your mind.
- Use white noise or music to engage part of your mind while writing. This can keep thoughts from circulating that will derail your progress.
The Best Writing Advice in the World
At the end of the day, banishing writer’s block comes down to a single piece of advice. Professional writers have been passing it down for decades, if not centuries. Writing is about sitting down and getting it done. Follow the BIC rule: Butt in chair.
Writer’s block? Follow the BIC rule: Butt In Chair. << Click to Tweet This
When all else fails, draw on all the will power you have, sit down and start writing. Do not think, just write. Do not worry about what you are writing or how good it is. Just write. You can iron the rest out in the editing process.
What was your worst episode of writer’s block? Describe it on paper. Oh, hey! You just banished the block by writing about it!