How to Fix Writer's Block
By Abby Diaz on September 27, 2013
When you are suffering from writer’s block, it is very important to jump on the diagnosis immediately. Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – let yourself become accustomed to the cramping that occurs somewhere between your brain and your fingertips. Any such indulgence risks a diagnosis of writer’s obstruction, which is like obstruction of justice except less likely to be found in a police station.
Contributing factors to writer’s block include:
- Fatigue, because to write, you must get 12-14 hours of sleep per night, or sprinkled throughout the day.
- Children, because words only flow from your fingers when a steady stream of “NO!” or “I SAID REAL OVENS ARE NOT FOR TODDLERS!” is not flowing from your mouth.
- Paid employment, because bosses and actual deadlines are the worst.
- Twitter, because there’s no better way to feel like you have nothing original to say when you witness thousands of people saying all the things in a Tetris-like waterfall of characters and embedded links.
You risk progressing from writer’s block to writer’s obstruction if you:
- Become overwhelmed with a dull sense of unfulfillment, which you believe writing could save you from, if only you could find the perfect thing to write using the perfect words delivered in the perfect voice.
- Decide that, because you are unable to write any one thing, you should be writing lots of things for various outlets, so you amass pages of contact information and start brainstorming what you’ll pitch them, which quickly overwhelms you.
- Really force yourself to absorb how many other people are writing all the time, and some of them are great writers and some of them are not great writers, but the difference doesn’t seem to matter because all of them are writing to an audience that’s bigger than yours, guaranteeing they’ll get – or already have gotten – The Lucky Break.
- Start tallying all the things you’re doing horribly.
- Get a haircut that is not transformative in the way you expected it to be transformative.
To nip these writerly diseases in the bud, please follow these simple steps:
- Stop thinking so much. In fact, you might try just not thinking at all.
- Stop caring so much. In fact, you might try just caring enough so that your dignity is maintained. Anything beyond that threshold might be too much at this point.
- Stop comparing so much. Comparison that others are doing more has caused you to do nothing. The unhelpful mathematics of that equation should be self-evident by now.
- Stop giving up so much. You think nothing is going to come of anything, so you don’t try, and then you get frustrated that nothing is coming of your nothing. The unhelpful mathematics of that equation should be self-evident by now.
Go ahead. Write. Write right now. See that mirror? I’m looking at you.
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