“Today I have nothing to say,” I typed after staring at the screen for what seemed to be hours. I tried to think of something witty, compelling. After all I’m a writer aren’t I? I started over again, itching to pull the paper out of the typewriter roller, crush it and throw it in the basket. But that too was unsatisfying. I’m using a computer. I heave a heavy sigh, *sigh,* and once again look at the blank screen. Oh no! I have it, the dreaded writer’s block!
There are lots of reasons why we reach a barrier: we censor our work, stress in our ‘other’ life, rejections, low self esteem, I could go on but you get the picture.
Here are some tips I found on About.com to help you move forward:
- Develop and follow a writing schedule even if you write only a few hundred words. If you are consistent and sit down to write on a schedule, your mind will react accordingly.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Just write. Save the critique for later when you edit.
- Don’t panic. Panicking will only make the block worse. The less you think about what you’re doing the better your writing will be. Let it flow.
- Take some time off especially if you have just finished one project. Give yourself time to recharge your batteries and gather new experiences.
- Set reasonable deadlines and goals for yourself. You may also want to find a writing group for support. It’s good to touch base with other writers and understand you are not alone. Commiserating puts things in perspective.
- Take a good look at any long standing issues that stop you from writing. Writing can be cathartic. Write about your anxieties and talk them out, preferably with another writer.
- Work on more than one project. Sometimes a second project can spur ideas for the first.
- Try a writing exercise. Just for fun. Finish this sentence: Like a butterfly, she magically …
- Get away from your desk for awhile. You need to stretch your legs, get the blood going. Go to the gym, browse your favorite book store, or go for a walk. When you come back to your desk you will feel renewed.
- Remember why you started writing and don’t give up. Think about the excitement, how much fun you had getting the words down. Recapture the spirit that is the muse.
Personally, I went for a walk and reconnected with some friends. With encouragement from my son, I contacted the editor who passed on my story and asked if she would consider re-reading it once the editing was done. The weight lifted but I have one more thing to do before I invite the muse back to my desk. I found this great romance novel. A few chapters should get me in the mood to write!
Happy Spring everyone which ever holiday you celebrate.