The online Oxford Dictionaries defines writer’s block as ‘the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing’.
Some writers battle with writer’s block, and others claim it doesn’t exist. Don’t slam me for this, but I’m amongst the latter, despite the fact that I, too, have suffered ‘writing blocks’. While I do believe that some writers experience periods where they are uninspired and feel as if everything they write during this uninspired period is rubbish, there’s no such thing as actual writer’s block – that implies that the writer’s head is empty and there are no thoughts or ideas in there whatsoever. This is untrue of most of us – it’s simply a matter of finding the right words to express our thoughts and ideas, or the right angle to write from. I think it would be more accurate to call this a mental block than writer’s block, since mental blocks of this type can apply to anything in life.
Consider also that many who claim to have writer’s block are able to write and do have ideas, but don’t write because they feel as if their writing isn’t quite up to scratch or the idea isn’t fully formed. So what? That’s what self-edits are for, and ideas tend to form themselves once you start writing them. Stop worrying about the final product when you write. When you write, just write. The moment words start appearing on the page, your ‘writer’s block’ is on the way to being banished. You have the power to do that – so do it.
This ‘condition’ can be caused by a number of things, but there is hope – there are easy ways to overcome a creative lull. The only thing blocking you is you.
For ideas to overcome this mental block, be sure to visit our blog next week Monday, 3 June, to read Overcoming Writers’ Block.
This is an extract from The Better Writing Guide by Fireblade partner, Vanessa Finaughty. For more helpful writing tips, please purchase the guide.