A Writer On: Writer’s Block

Hey there,

So as Wikipedia says, there are some serious reasons a writer may not be able to write i.e. stress and life distractions.

But recently I’ve heard it be said that there is no such thing as writer’s block. That it’s an myth, an excuse, something writers hide behind, saying they can’t write when in actuality they don’t want to write because, for example, they don’t feel up to writing that day or are suffering from lack of inspiration or they’re stuck and are less inclined to try and get past that. And before you have a deadline there is nothing wrong with that, no excuse is needed. Unsolicited, unpublished writers may well be free to write as and when they want. They are their own bosses.

That isn’t justification by any means. I have those days. On some of them, I don’t write. On others I try to push through and sometimes achieve nothing. And other times, I am rewarded with some advancement of the plot or the solution of a plot point.

But what if you want to write, really want to write and the creative juices just aren’t flowing. Is this writer’s block?

Yeah, I think so. And I’ve got a couple of tips to deal with that.

The answer may be to leave the work and come back to it another day with fresher eyes and a fresh perspective. (FYI, this also applies to editing. I think it’s easier to spot mistakes when you come back to your work some time later. be it an hour, a day or a couple of days.)

Also I heard an author say once in an interview that when they get writer’s block it’s usually because they have made a mistake somewhere earlier in the manuscript and it is because of that mistake that the flow of the story has stopped since the majority of scenes are linked and lead on from each other. To solve this, they have to read through the story and fix that scene before going back and continuing on with their writing. This makes sense to me.

Talking of the creative juices not flowing, let me just detail my own experiences with writer’s block and when it has occurred in my work.

I think writer’s block could be more of an issue for pantsers than plotters simply because a plotter knows where they are going whereas a pantser- of which I am one for the most part- knows less of the direction in which their novel is headed and they pretty much figure it out as they go along. That doesn’t at all mean that just because plotters have plotted all but everything, if not everything, out that it’s always a breeze translating their plot ideas into the manuscript.

The other experience I’ve had with writer’s block is one I recalled whilst surfing writer’s block online. And that is the horrible, crippling feeling of thinking I’m not good enough. That I think my story’s good but I’m just not a good enough writer to write it, to bring the idea to life.

And then there’s the moments when I worry that people will think my work sucks and that, that confidence issue, stops me writing. I’ve had a fair few of those. But then I pick myself up. ♪I get knocked down but I get up again.♪

In conclusion, I do think writer’s block exists. And it can be tough to overcome. But writing itself isn’t easy. Far from it. Writer’s block comes with the territory for most, if not all, of us writers. It’s something we deal with for the end result, a good story.

So, what do you think of writer’s block? If you’ve experienced it, how do you deal with it?

Until next time,

Zuhaib

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