The year is 1987. Renowned author, Toni Morrison has just released one of his best-sellers called “Beloved,” which bases on a true African-American story.
The novel becomes such as hit that the press comes knocking. Listeners are, however, taken aback during a 1994 interview when they learn that Morrison conceived the idea about a decade before the release and that it took him years to write a single word about it.
Every writer has those moments where you just sit in front of your typewriter … sorry … computer (I’m still stuck in the 19th Century) and can’t seem to put down that idea.
The term for this situation is ‘writer’s block,’ and it has affected the best of the best. Luckily, I know just the treatment.
1. Develop an Outline for your Idea:
Sometimes your idea may just be too complex for your brain to grasp the entire scope of what you want to write about.
So, why don’t you just break down your idea into key points? Don’t worry about punctuations, tenses or any grammatical rules. Just simplify it in the best way possible.
2. Go to that happy place:
Do that activity that gets you relaxed (as long as it’s healthy and legal). Some people opt to go for a drive, others read a book while some watch a movie to get their minds to that relaxed space.
Do that. Sometimes your writer’s block is just a result of accumulated tension caused by perfectionism, deadlines and other contributors. Get your mind off those.
3. Gather inspiration:
Most writers have, at one point, used the term “not inspired.” You know what you want and you have the
right tools to get it done but that intrinsic drive is nowhere to be found.
I would suggest you get that inspiration in the following ways:
A. Research on how other authors counter their writer’s block: Go online and find out how famous writers overcame their block or ask a fellow writer (you gotta know one or two).
B. Seek Fresh Input: Share your idea with reliable people and have them criticize, add to or adjust them. A new angle may just be the source of your inspiration.
4. Avoid Distraction:
Do you have that annoying neighbor with a deafening car/home stereo? Or that person you love but hate their poor-timing tendencies?
That, there, may be the source of your writer’s block. Like they say, “starve your distractions.” Simply allocate yourself some me time and find a tranquil location to write.
Also, work on your mental discipline to avoid distracting yourself.
5. Capitalize on your Creativity Window:
We all have that window during which our creative side is at its optimum. To some, it comes in the morning after that cup of coffee while for others, it is late at night when everything else is quiet and they can easily get in touch with their inner self.
Yoga and meditation have been found to be among the best options for this purpose. Understand when best your creative side comes out and channel it to your writing.
Now, I could for days giving tips on how to overcome writer’s block but ultimately, it all relies on you. You need to want to write that piece so bad that you are willing to pursue the provided options, in case of a block.
You also need to be sure that it is that specific idea that you want to write about and not something else.
As you will find out within your journey as a writer, sometimes it is not writer’s block you are suffering from, rather, you are just barking up the wrong tree.