At the end of January I caught Covid, which kyboshed my plans to clear the inbox and share gems with you all here. I have finally (after 10 days) had my first NEGATIVE test result and am all good to return to work tomorrow. Apart from the financial damage, I am okay. Grateful and fortunate for that!
So I thought I would share another piece of treasure with you whilst I still had a little time at the desk.
Now, there are several schools of thought on Writer’s Block from it doesn’t exist to chronic suffering. I tend to feel I am somewhere near the not existing end of the spectrum, simply because I believe you block the flow if you tell yourself you are blocked. I do believe (and have experienced) slumps in writing after large projects or book publications, ill health and periods where there has been no writing at all*, I take these to be normal passages of being a writer.
*It is said (widely) that even if you don’t commit words to paper/screen your mind is still creating, gathering and writing for you.
I also know if you are ever suffering medically (as I was in 2019) your brain will not be working in the way you’re used to. Your whole system starts survival mode. Personally, there were 6 months where I didn’t write at all. I actually reached the point of acceptance;
‘Well those years were fun whilst they lasted, what’s next?’
Here for your reading is a Writer’s Digest article from the archives of 2019, it’s a Guest column written by Hope Bolinger.
9 Weird Ways to Beat Writer’s Block
Bolinger starts by looking at typical responses (some of which I’ve stated):
“You just have to write every day.”
“You gotta push past those esoteric obstacles and believe in yourself and your writing.”
And, of course, everyone’s favorite: “Writer’s block doesn’t exist.”
before moving on to tackling nine atypical solutions.
My favourite solutions include:
3) Treat / Rewards
…we will psychologically program ourselves to equate rewards with writing. Done in moderation, our brains will work harder to achieve these benchmark prizes. So set the bar. Once you reach an attainable goal (500 words, a completed article, etc.), don’t be afraid to gift yourself when you hit it.
7) Get anti-social
I love writing, but I also love Pinterest. Take a wild guess at which one sucks me in for hours.
Although social media has allowed writers to connect with readers from across the world and share fantastic tips in various writing communities across all social media platforms, it takes us away from the thing we post about all the time: writing.
Various apps such as FocusON and Anti-Social allow for authors to turn off social media and focus on the writing. Don’t worry. Once you finish those last fifty words, you can turn social back on and beam at all the Instagram notifications to your heart’s content.
© Writer’s Digest
When I first started writing and hadn’t built up discipline, I used to use the other laptop, the one which refused to acknowledge the fact we had the internet. I was more productive! We all know that time slip when you just pop on for one post or the rabbit holes of research (wondrous though they are). If you only have 30 minutes, use it ALL for writing!
For more atypical solutions read the full article here.