Breaking through writer’s block

It’s easy and common to view that harmless computer or paper pad as something of a monster to fend off. But writer’s block is a brick wall you can — and have to — break through.

With writer’s block, understand what’s causing it. Is it because you’re worried your idea isn’t good enough? Can’t find the right words to create the right atmosphere, character or scene? Do you compare yourself to your idols thinking, “Why can’t I be as talented or smart as them’?

Getting caught up with your own self-doubts is apparently common – just ask any writer. Just ask anybody. But writer’s block is not an indication of failure; it’s only a hurdle to get over.

First of all, don’t force yourself to write. This doesn’t mean foregoing the discipline. Writing, like everything else, takes discipline, whether you want to do it or not. The craft must be practiced every single day. But if nothing is coming into your head, what’s the point of beating your brains out? Do something else to deal with the block. Walk your dog. Talk to someone. Surf the internet. Clean the bathroom. But don’t stay away from your computer or paper pad too long.

Then return to your writer’s desk. The tough part is getting started. Write down anything that pops into your head. You’re surrounded by so many ideas! Any idea is a great idea to start with. Write about an article you just read, or the restaurant meal you had. If you’re working on a rough draft, well, that’s why it’s called a rough draft — it can and will always get polished later.

But once you get the first sentence or paragraph on the computer screen or paper, you start rolling a ball that has picked up momentum. Then more ideas will come to you, and that’ll fuel your confidence and creativity even more.

All the best in beating down that writer’s block!

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