Tag Archives: writer’s block

Writer’s Block (that old chestnut)!

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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?’

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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

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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.

Writer’s Block – Advice

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A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend who was suffering from writer’s block, I was going to send an email full of advice and tips and then I thought – why not blog it.

inkspill just write

The best advice I have discovered in the past year and a half is to not blame the block on yourself – but rather the sticky keys of your laptop, by doing this you can kid your brain and get the ideas pumping again.

We all know what Writer’s Block feels like and we all suffer from the stalemate from time to time, including best selling authors, you are in good company. Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away from writing for a while, give yourself a day or two off from writing, or take a walk, get out of the house, you may discover a source of inspiration out in the real world.

Writer’s Block can leave you feeling lethargic so here are some ideas to try if you do not want to leave the house.

1) Try a writing exercise.

2) Think about some major life changes that you have experienced, what if they had turned out differently? Write the outcome.

3) Use favourite/ well known book characters and write them into different scenes.

4) Write your anxieties down, what is happening inside your creative/ writing mind.

5) Talk to other writers.

6) Try working on a different project. I tend to have 2 or 3 simultaneous projects timetabled at any one time, this prevents boredom and blocks, although in poetry writer’s block is slightly different and tends to centre around ideas.

7) Assess your writing space, perhaps change or tidy your environment to declutter your mind.

8) Think about why you write to begin with. (Or next time you are having a positive writing day write down some observations to read next time you are feeling empty!) Are you writing what you love? It can be really hard to finish projects otherwise.

writing block

Tangents and detours happen in writing, accept them.

Try to silence your inner critic – don’t let those gremlins tell you your writing is worthless.

Remember the power of re-writes, just work on getting your 1st draft out.

Just keep going.

Try to look at your manuscript from different angles.

Touch base with HOW writing makes you FEEL – why you are a writer to begin with.