Writer’s block affects us all.
You are seated at your desk, staring at the blinking cursor wondering what to type. Perhaps you are lost for the many ideas flowing from your creative genius.
The clock is ticking, you have a tight deadline. And you feel like throwing in the towel.
Every writer has had some sort of the above experience. Often, you feel pushed to the wall or too lethargic to put something down. You can feel the blockage and given an option you would rather dodge this bullet.
5 Common Types of Writer’s Block and Their Fixes
1. You Have no Idea What to Write
Do you actually lack an idea to write about or are you waiting for the grand idea?
Professional writers commit to write every day whether they feel the inspiration or not. A writer at Flavor Wire studied famous writers to investigate how they handled this writer’s block. Maya Angelou said that she kept writing, no matter how awkward whatever she wrote down felt; and soon, the muse would catch up with her.
Simple fix: The same applies for you, keep writing. Do a free write up for 15-30minutes.Write whatever comes to your mind. Later, look at what you have written, identify a theme or a common topic and edit and structure your piece of writing.
2. Too Many Ideas
This one may sound like a good problem but it can be a major obstacle to your flow and idea development in your writing. If not dealt with, you are likely to jump from one idea, in one paragraph to a completely different one in the next.
So, what do you do about having too many ideas? Take time to narrow down to the main theme.
Simple fix: To overcome this writer’s block, come up with an outline and see where you can place some of the ideas you have. It is ok if you leave out several of the ideas. Note them down somewhere and perhaps you can use them on those days you lack inspiration.
3. Fear of Putting Your Work Out There
You may wonder whether the client will find your work appealing. Will the audience like what you have written? You are afraid of the criticism and rejection. And it paralyzes any effort you make to write.
Fear is a natural survival instinct. In essence, it aims at keeping us safe, at your comfort zone, away from criticism and rejection. But it can also deter us from making any progress.
Simple fix: Take a risk and write anyway. Maybe your audience will criticize what you have written. Take the criticism constructively. Perhaps they will love what you have written and yearn for some more. Give it your best and let it out to the world.
4. No Time to Write
Holly Robinson in her Huffington Post claims that if you have time to do other things in your life, then, you can create time to write. Why do you write? If you can determine reasons why you write it becomes easier for you to deliberately create time to do it because it is important to you.
Simple fix: Take time to write the things you do in a week. Time spent cooking, engaging hobbies, watching TV, at work, sleeping. Determine the minimum number of hours in a week you would like to commit to your work. Identify times in your schedule when you can write. And, religiously show up on your desk those times and write.
5. It is Not Perfect
Do you experience a critic in your head who keeps telling you delete that, rephrase, poor vocabulary, and wrong idea? You merely write a paragraph before you delete it. And you can’t bring yourself to write a complete article.
You want every sentence to be perfect as you write it. Give up your attachment to perfection at the drafting phase. Eventually, you’ll have all the time to edit and rephrase later.
According to Jeff Goins, the difference between amateur writers and pros is how they handle writing blocks. Most amateurs choose to procrastinate and wait for a time when they feel inspired. On the other hand, pros know that the only way to get yourself to write is to write.
Writing is the panacea of any writer’s block. No matter your mood. Ideas or no ideas- keep writing. The muse will catch up and if it doesn’t, you will polish your writing when editing.