Every writer, at some point in their life would have faced their share of problems with their Writer’s Block. So did I.
And every writer would come up with one way or the other to tackle the Writer’s Block. So did I.
If Writer’s block is untackled, it can lead to a lot of stress.
Something similar happened to me, until I decided to come up with a strategy to tackle it. As days progressed, my strategy also evolved, often combining multiple strategies. Let’s look at my strategies.
Strategy #1 – Write about Writer’s Block itself
So, my way of tackling Writer’s Block was to write about the Writer’s Block itself.
I would try writing about my current state of mind. So, the first time I decided to do something about my Writer’s Block, I wrote this piece
Instantly, after writing about my Writer’s Block I felt relieved. It helped me declutter a lot of negative thoughts, and all the burden that I had about not being to able to write.
Then, after a few weeks, when I faced Writer’s Block again, I wrote this piece:
Strategy #2 – Write based on the wordpress daily prompts
I tried this approach too, and it worked out decently. I ended up writing few good pieces based on the daily prompts. Some of them are
Strategy #3 – Write short quotes
This is more like a cheating version. Here, I was temporarily trying to cheat away by saying, “Yes, I did write something today”. By the way, I was always interested in writing quotes. So I wrote a few quotes whenever inspiration struck. A few of them are :
Strategy #4 – Blogger awards and random rants
Someone will nominate for blogger awards if they find my blog useful. Similarly, I have to nominate others and the chain continues. Initially I used to enjoy the award blog posts, but later on, it became monotonous. So I took a break.
Strategy #5 – Birth of RIBO
My Writer’s block became so troublesome that I started to create a character out of it and I would write about the conversations I would have with it. You can have a look at it here :
Strategy #6 – A to Z short story challenge
I should thank the Chennai Bloggers Club for this challenge. Recently, I participated in a challenge where I wrote 26 short stories in 7 days. It was an awesome experience and it sort of permenantly pulled me out of my Writer’s Block. The short nature of the challenge forced me to writer, more than I ever did in my writing life.
You can read more about the challenge here :
If you are interested in reading further about my Writer’s Block and my experiences with it, please read further.
Psychology of Writer’s Block
What generally appears to be a Writer’s Block is a combination of the Writer’s mindset, emotions, frustrations, bouts of depression, anxiety, guilt, etc. For me, it was a cycle. Cycle of frustration of sometimes having too much to write, sometimes having nothing to write, sometimes having my mind cluttered so much that I would not like to write, sometimes being in excess pressure in office, sometimes facing personal issues, sometimes being frustrated with this world.
So, you can ask me why the writer gets so frustrated if he is unable to write. I attribute my frustrations to two main reasons.
For a writer, writing is his passion or escape from reality
Let’s face it. How many of you are not full time writers? Chances that 9 out of 10 are not. You are already in a day job, but you have interest/passion in writing. For me, that’s the case.
For a writer like me, writing is a passion which I discovered because I was not fully satisfied with my day job. Not that my day job isn’t interesting, it is, but only after I started writing, I got a feeling that I have a new meaning to my life. All of a sudden, I felt I have got a purpose in life, apart from the regular life/career/family routine.
For me, writing is also an escape from this reality. When I am writing, I am not worried about anything else. I am into my own world that I create, having conversations with my characters and trying to think what happens if something happens to them.
So what happens when a writer is not able to write, for some reason?
At the core of every writer is the intent for self expression
At the core of every writer is the intent for self expression. When that mode of self expression is cut off, then the Writer’s block comes into picture. A writer already has some problem with not being able to express himself/herself in other mediums of communication. So, that’s probably why they chose to write in the first place. So, what will happen if they are not able to write as freely as they once used to.
That’s where the pressure and the stress comes into picture. So, it’s a never ending loop of
- Missing the writing due to let’s say a vacation, personal issues, office pressure, lack of creative ideas, having too many ideas and not sure which one to write about, etc.
- Missing the writing schedule results in pent up frustrations that they want to vent out
- When they can’t write or something stops them, that increases the frustration
- Feeling guilty about not being able to write
- Getting doubts regarding his own talents as a writer
- All these things increases the frustration further
- Mind is too cluttered to even write due to all these problems.
- Again the cycle goes to step 1
The thing is all these things happen very gradually, until it becomes too much to form a writer’s block.
So, the only way to really tackle it is to break that cycle. Force yourself to write.
So, I tried that, but failed again. Whenever I tried and sat down to write, I didn’t know what to write about. That’s when I discovered about writing about Writer’s Block itself. Whether it helped me solve my Writer’s Block problem is yet to be seen, but one things it has done is to declutter my mind and heart so as to at least think about something else the next day.
Over a period of time, my strategies evolved and I am very pleased to say that my Writer’s Block is not troubling so much as it once used to. So, this is how I tackled and still tackling my Writer’s Block.
Question to you:
So dear writers, what strategies do you follow to tackle your Writer’s Block? You can either write a comment or write a new post and link it here.
If you are interested in reading the sample chapter of my upcoming Ebook “What I Learnt by writing 26 short stories in 7 days”, please provide your email id here.
Recenly, I have started a new series “What I Learnt” where I share my learnings about multiple things. Feel free to read and comment.