As a writer focused on a particular type of content, it’s easy to forget how many different forms our writing can take. Creative fiction, poetry, non-fiction, technical writing, marketing content, online blogs… even the Twitterati practice the craft of writing, albeit in very short bursts. Text messages? Not so much.
One difficulty all writers have in common is the dreaded writer’s block.
While some folks may be able to plow through the blockade with sheer grit and determination, that never works for me. Time and time again I’m reminded that the harder I stare at the page, trying to will the words to flow, the less productive I am.
Deadline pressure only compounds the problem.
When I try to force the process, my train of thought gets derailed, leaving the tracks completely to gather dust in a nearby field. My ideas just dry up and drift across the scene like so many tumbleweeds. You get the picture…
The solution that works best for me is to take my mind off the work, at least momentarily. Listening to white noise or instrumental music helps calm my thoughts and restore my focus. If I have a few minutes to spare in my schedule, I’ll get up to stretch, or step outside for some fresh air.
Of course, there is no one cure-all for everyone. It’s reported that Victor Hugo would have his valet hide his clothes, forcing him to stay indoors and write. That seems a bit extreme to me. And quite cold in the winter.
How do you banish writer’s block?