For anyone who has ever put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard, we have encountered a pesky nemesis called Writer’s Block. I like to capitalize the W and B in Writer’s Block because it is a persona … an alter ego within the soul of an author. As an author, we are conditioned to believe that Writer’s Block is an office mate that we must learn to tolerate. So we live with Writer’s Block, commiserate with Writer’s Block, curse Writer’s Block, stare at the greenish-glow of the computer screen with Writer’s Block, drink coffee with Writer’s Block, procrastinate with Writer’s Block, and pray for the moment when we can smirk with glee when Writer’s Block takes a vacation or, better yet, packs its bags and moves to a new town.
Knowing that Writer’s Block is usually lurking around a dark corner, what can an aspiring or seasoned author do to escape its clutches? As a newly published author myself who tried to befriend Writer’s Block, I was given just one, simple piece of advice that singularly impacted my ability to work around, through, above and beyond Writer’s Block. What was that scrumptious morsel of wisdom? Write.
Sorry for the anti-climactic answer. But it is true … when you are suffocating in the grip of Writer’s Block, simply put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard and write, write, write. Write whatever comes to mind, even if it is your shopping list. You may believe that you are writing nonsense, incomplete thoughts, and rambling sentences; however, the goal to working out of the clutches of Writer’s Block is to go through the physical process of writing and not worry about the quality. It is one of those rare moments when quantity over quality prevails. And when you do this, you are subtly telling yourself that you are a writer; and in fact, and that moment, you are technically writing. You may later return to your writing and toss out much of what you created; however, you may also find sentences, paragraphs, concepts, characters and entire plots that are brilliant, yet buried underneath the rubble caused by Writer’s Block. By engaging in this rote process of writing, you will open the dam of your creative juices and they will begin to flow where they were once stagnant.
So when Writer’s Block pays me a visit and I feel like my creativity has taken a 180-day luxury cruise around the world, my first instinct may be to follow Lady Gaga and “Just Dance”, but the best path is to simply “Just Write”.
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