Ah, good ole writer’s block…
It’s one of the most talked about things in the world of writing. You’ll see it everywhere in the big wide social world: in one in ten Tweets, one in ten Instagram posts, one in five blog articles (oh, the irony) – and pretty much anywhere that provides people with a viable thought outlet, where they can complain until their mind is put to rest.
If you ask me, there would be way less of an issue with writer’s block if people simply stopped complaining about it and got on with their writing. What’s so difficult about that?
Okay, so maybe a slight change of environment will help, and some writers almost seek solace in venting their frustrations on social media. However, that’s way less productive than actually trying to combat the legendary WB – and besides, complaining about it on social media is a waste of precious words.
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Warning: Plot Twist
Writer’s block doesn’t exist…
Yes, you read that right. And no, I haven’t lost my mind.
It’s become so talked about that it almost rests on a pedestal – a highly dreaded evil power that no writer dare conquer. It’s as if people succumb to it voluntarily, so indulged in the myth that they think combat is pointless.
Writers invented writer’s block.
Think about it. If it had never been given a name, was never talked about on social media, what would be the issue? All it would be in those circumstances, would be a slight period in which you stare at your keyboard because you can’t quite find your flow. Not some mythical, fire-breathing beast that will end your writing career on the spot if you so much as consider fighting back.
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On The Contrary
Okay, okay. Just hold it there a second.
Before you scroll down to the comments section and start hammer-fisting your keyboard in a demonstration of unpreventable fury, telling me about the time you fought the dreaded block and couldn’t write a single word for seven-thousand days – just pause. Breathe. And hear me out.
There’s no naivety here.
Of course there are times where you struggle to write. Where you sit down and try your hardest to type, but somehow, for whatever reason, the words just won’t surface. I’m not disputing that. What I am saying though, is that this is not writer’s block. Or at least, you should stop thinking of it as writer’s block.
Think of it instead as a brief moment of blankness, a moment you’ll push through in the next couple hours. The thing with these blockages is that the second you stop trying and call it quits, is the second you let it beat you. The more you push through it, fighting for your life, the more likely you are to come out on top.
Even if you pick up a pen and a piece of paper and just write the same word five-hundred times in a row – it’s better than writing nothing. And eventually, the more you write that particular word, the higher your chances of victory become, because soon enough a connecting word will jump out and slap you in the mouth. Before you know it you’re writing sentences, then paragraphs. And then ten minutes later, you forget the problem entirely.
The point is, it doesn’t matter if you sit down and write a load of gobbledygook. The only thing that matters is that the writing doesn’t stop.
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Let It Go
From this day forth, let go of the dreaded term. Remove the phrase ‘writer’s block’ from your vocabulary and never think of it ever again.
It’s the mystique and false hierarchy of it that gives it its power. Just think about it. If you find yourself struggling, and think, ‘Oh well, I’ve got writer’s block, better just call it a day’ – chances are, it’s going to be a few days until you get back into your writing rhythm because you’re so defeatist about the process.
Whereas, if you’re struggling and you simply think, ‘It’s just a little mental hurdle, I’ve got to keep writing’ – then you’ll do just that. There’s no widespread negative stigma attached to that thought – the very stigma that gives WB its mysterious powers – and thus, you’ll be free to push through it without feeling as though you’re beaten from the get.
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Give it a try for yourself.
Let go of the concept of WB, and don’t feel hopeless when you hit a mental roadblock. Just push through it. Tell yourself that you’re in control, that you’re in charge of what you do – not your subconscious brainwaves. Then tell yourself that again – as many times as it takes for you to believe it.
If nothing else, this creates a freer mindset, and prevents you from missing days of writing because of your unnecessary negativity toward it. Just push through, write on, and show your mind who’s boss.
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