Friday, June 22, 2012

How to Overcome Writers’ Block in One Easy Step

How to overcome writer’s block: the most famous dilemma a writer can face. It happens in every field: an athlete’s sophomore slump There are thousands of Web pages, books and forum threads that deal with the topic, advocating everything from reading until your eyes fall out to taking a vow of silence in a Buddhist temple. Thankfully, there’s only one real way to overcome writers block, and it’s a simple as a journey of 1,000 miles.


That’s all there is to it. There’s no magic remedy, no herbal tea, and no drug-induced therapy that will help you out of a slump. There’s only one way to get out of a rut: put on your working boots and dig yourself out of it. Everything else is simply a distraction that’s keeping you from achieving what you deserve to achieve. There is one way to overcome writer’s block: WRITE! It doesn’t matter what you’re writing, or how fast, just that you get some words on the page in spite of your struggles.

Here’s three strategies’ you can use to help yourself forget about the obstacle of writer’s block, and refocus on the goal of finishing your work.

Writing Is Work – What do you do when you really, really don’t want to go to work, but it’s Wednesday, your healthy, and you can’t afford to lose your job. You down a Red Bull at seven in the morning and get in the damn car. There’s no other choice – if you’re a writer (and you are if you write), then writing isn’t your dream. Writing is your job. You can’t afford to get fired; you’d be letting yourself down and disappointing everybody who believes in you. You might do a crappy job or have an unproductive day, but you’ll go to work. When the going gets tough, showing up is enough.

Cut Out the Middleman – There are dozens of strategies out there for overcoming writer’s block. Most of the popular methods have merit – reading books on the craft, writing in your journal, relaxing for a weekend, and tuning out the noise around you all have their place. But that place isn’t to get you writing again. At the end of the day, the only thing that can get you writing again is… writing again. When you’ve stopped writing, all of that is just another way for your subconscious to help you procrastinate. Save that for a normal break from form. In the meantime, pick up your pen.

Remember Your SAT Strategy – Back in high school (WAY back for some of us), our teachers and tutor’s gave us a simple tip for getting as much finished as possible: If you get to a really hard answer, skip it and come back to it later. The reason? Because you’ll get more done if you focus on the easier parts first, and you’re likely to have an epiphany if you come back to the problem later. That same advice applies to writer’s block; especially when you get to a particularly rough part in your writing. Outline what you want to do, and proceed further with the assumption that it proceeded as planned. You can come back to the tough part when you’re in a better flow with your writing, or when you’re so close to the end you can just push through it.

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