Writer’s Block. The time when your imaginary friends refuse to talk to you. We all go through it, even famous authors. No one is immune to it’s evil grasp! However, you can unsheathe your sword and fight against Writer’s Block once you know what you’re up against.
There are a few places that Writer’s Block comes from, but every reason is psychological and it stems from fear. Fear of being judged, fear of failure, fear of lack of originality… I could go on. It’s true, writing a novel (or other piece of literature) and publishing it is like standing in the middle of New York City naked. Your work of art has only seen your eyes up until that moment. And really, it is your baby. Every character, every scene is special and you love every word in it’s perfect place. But you, like every other author, knows that there will always be critics. Always. No matter what you write about, there will always be people who hate it.
But so what? Why should you care?
- Write for your future fans not future critics. Heck, you don’t even have to write for them. Write for yourself. As long as the story you write is something that you want to read, who cares what other people think? I promise, if you think like that, not only does writing become easier, but Writer’s Block will become almost nonexistent. Why? Well, if you’re only writing for yourself, you enjoy it. And when you enjoy what you write, the quality will naturally increase.
- Walk away for 10 minutes. Sometimes walking away for a few minutes will refresh your brain. Take your mind off the story for a moment. Eat a snack. Meditate. Dance. Sing. Something! Anything that makes you relax will tear down the walls your brain has built up. It will cause you to let your guard down and that’s a good thing.
- Don’t worry about what else is being written. News flash! You aren’t the only author writing their next story. There are thousands of other people around the globe who share the same hope and aspiration of becoming the next J.K. Rowling. Just like #1, you should focus on you. If it helps, write down the reason(s) why you are writing this work of art.
- What defines failure? Fear of failure is my biggest obstacle when crafting and writing a novel. What if no one wants to buy it when it’s published? What if no one likes it? All of these “What if…?” scenarios are realistic to think, but completely unproductive. When in doubt, I refer to #1. Remember who I’m writing for… ME! Even if no one likes it, I do! And I’m still going to write the entire trilogy. Yes, this mentality seems easier said than done… and it is. But what does failure mean to you? No fans? No money? Once you nail the reason, ponder whether or not these answers are helping or hurting you. I can take a good guess to say that it’s hurting you. Don’t think about failing, think about success!
- Perhaps your outline needs to be expanded. Maybe it’s not Writer’s Block at all! Maybe your idea is too vague or not vague enough. Take a look at your notes and outline. Are there plot holes that need to be addressed? Is there enough content to reach your word count goal? How about the characters, are they dynamic enough to write quality dialogue? Is there enough content in the story to create a well-rounded novel?
Don’t worry, future author, you can and you will get over Writer’s Block! Search for inspiration and you will find it. On the other hand, if you search for reasons to quit, you will find that as well. But please don’t! Me and the rest of the writing community want to read what you finished! Keep going and do what works for you!!! 🙂