Last year, I told a black American lady, “Your story deserves to be told.” I sincerely believed it. I still do. Everyone has a story to tell, and you can learn to tell it well.
But here’s the catch.
Whether you’re a newbie to writing, an established amateur or a professional, there’s one thing you’ll probably not outgrow. It’s called writer’s block. I define it as the inability to get your creative juices flowing. So you hold a pen but can’t string words together. Or maybe you’re staring at a blank screen for hours on end.
If you attempt to write often, then sooner than later, you’ll experience a block. One proven way I’ve learned to deal with them is to tackle the habits and misconceptions that make a block inevitable in the first place.
Paving the Way for a Writer’s Block
Here are seven things people do that make it certain they’ll experience writer’s block and how to deal with them.
- Writing without a system.
Anybody can write, but good writers create a system within which their writing thrives. It could be a specific time of the day, an arranged writing space, a sequence of activities, a posture, a routine etc. Not having a system is equivalent to setting yourself up for writer’s block.
Most first drafts are shitty. Waiting for a fully-formed idea in your mind before you start writing will keep you waiting for long.
- Embracing Procrastination and Distraction
Productivity has two enemies; procrastination and distraction. The former prevents you from starting; the latter causes you to lose focus and delays your finishing. Both must be avoided, like plagues.
- Self-doubt and Comparison
Appreciating other writers is good. But comparing yourself to others is bound to limit you. Especially when you start to think you’ll never write as well as they do. That self-doubt will cause a creative block.
- Waiting for motivation
Waiting for the rush of energy that lets you know it’s time to write is a good way to waste time. If you want to write, stop waiting and start writing.
- Doing it alone
Writers excel in their solitude, but the best writers have always had a community. These are people with which they shared their idea, muses, and thoughts. The discussions are often stimulants for better writing.
- Not reading
Refusing to read just because you do not want your writing tainted with other people’s ideas is a sure way never to write. This is because no idea is truly original. Imitation and creativity go hand in hand.
So that’s it. If you want to get stuck while writing, do these seven things. But if you don’t want to, change your approach.
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