Writer’s block is not pure laziness as some authors may say. It is a mental and physical block that makes writing impossible for a while. Whenever I’ve suffered from this condition, it’s been painful with the guilt of not writing threatening to drown me. Weeks and weeks of precious time wasted. A crippling anxiety accompanied by fear that will I be able to write again? Over the last couple of years, I’ve figured out what works for me when I need a big, encouraging push back to my work in progress. You can try these too.
1) Take long walks. At one point, you’ll find your mind bombarded with so many thoughts and ideas that you’ll be forced to write. On a notepad at least.
2) Indulge in a reading spree. Reading good writing is a big motivator when you’re stuck.
3) Attempt short pieces – for example, I try a flash fiction post or two on this blog. Once that works, attempt a very short story. Scribble on paper if you will.
4) Hang out with the hardworking writer friends. Especially the kind who like to boast about their daily word counts and bookstore rankings. You’ll be pissed off and feel super useless and then you’ll find yourself on a writing spree.
5) Sometimes I have to do the opposite of whatever I mentioned above. That means that I need to ‘forget’ about the world of books and writing and drag myself to other areas of interest. In my case, that could mean visiting old relatives, watching a bunch of movies, going to a new coffee shop or restaurant with a non-writer friend. In other words, keeping myself busy with non-writerly activities. Giving the books and bookstores a break. Because that’s how some irresistible story idea comes and puts me back on track again.
Fellow writers, what works for you?