Cures for anything can be hard to discover. Unfortunately for writers, the cure for writer’s block also has yet to be found. Luckily, though, writers possess the power to prevent writer’s block from striking. We can also prevent the stay from lasting far too long. This year, kick writer’s block to the curb with all its luggage.
Writer’s block is tough and it seems to loom at the times we least expect it or find it most detrimental to our creative flow. Thankfully, writer’s block doesn’t last forever and once it finally leaves, the luminance of our words is recognizable.
As a writer, I believe there is a reason why I thought of a particular idea for a story. I believe there’s a reason why I thought of a plot before anyone else. I believe the same for any other writer. Interacting with the plot we think of as writers and distorting it across different forms and genres can do several things for us.
Interacting with the same plot in a form outside of its original can help to analyze the story in a unique way. Each form has its own strengths and opportunities. The same story will fail to be identical in the parameters of a short story to a novel. Placing the story into smaller constraints can cause you to focus on a certain component more than before. Widening the story to a novel, can cause you to realize what the story’s focal point is.
When writer’s block strikes, don’t fret. Instead, think about a story you pursued in the past. Take that story, whether a whole or a chunk of it, and see how it changes over a different form. For a further experiment, test it within a separate genre. Old content can be a great escape from writer’s block. Also swapping the point of view can alter the story’s trajectory.
Even if you have no old content to recycle, producing new content and pushing through the creative lull can diminish writer’s block. But how exactly can new content be made when the creativity fails to flow?
“Writer’s block is only a failure of the ego.”Norman Mailer
“I deal with writer’s block by lowering my expectations. I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent — and when you don’t, panic sets in. The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent. I write a little bit, almost every day, and if it results in two or three or (on a good day) four good paragraphs, I consider myself a lucky man. Never try to be the hare. All hail the tortoise.”Malcolm Gladwell
It is common for writers to think harshly of their work when writer’s block occurs. It is common for us to second-guess and belittle our writerly efforts. When we remove that part of our mind and just write, we avoid a negative space. Removing the pressure to write something spectacular and ground-breaking when writer’s block is knocking at our doorstep, can produce some great results.
One of the best things about being a writer is that we have sole control over the story, including after we finish the final revision process. We possess the main choice as to have others read and/or publish the piece.
Amongst the pressure and intimidation that writer’s block can bring, remind yourself that no matter how experimental or how poor the story turns out to be, no one ever has to see it. Writing is an extremely private thing and exposing your content to the world can strike the nerves. Remove the pressure and unzip the writerly ego we cling onto a little too much.
For a quick list of ways to circumvent writer’s block:
- Read a book or article
- Swap for another writing environment
- Skip the keyboard and write freehand
- Listen to music
- Find encouraging writing quotes
- Search the web for prompts
- Watch a television show with a worthy storyline
- Reread old stories you’ve wrote
- Take a break and complete non-writing activities
- Sketch the story’s primary setting
- Draw the main character(s)
- Write a list of words you like and/or want to use in the story
- Watch an interview with a famous writer
- Embark on an excursion or a small trip
- Pursue another creative project, such as art