Writer’s block occurs when writers are stuck in the middle of their manuscripts or can’t find inspiration to write about new ideas. Writer’s block generates the feeling of being mired in creative quicksand. Writer’s block is one of the biggest crosses that virtually all writers have to endure in varying degrees of fashion at least once during their careers. This condition can be remedied if you will apply the tips I have implemented to navigate myself out of this:
Research Markets: I strive to follow this rule: “If I am not writing, then I need to be researching markets, and if I am not researching markets, then I had better be writing.” Oftentimes, I come across new ideas to write about because I spend some time daily checking the market listings of newsletters and databases. The way editors craft their market listings varies from publication to publication, so you will eventually come upon a market listing that will reignite your creativity. In addition, you may find a new place to submit one of your unpublished or published works to.
Write at a College Library: If you normally write at home, seek out your closest college library to put an end to that writer’s block. There is an ambiance of creativity and intellectual pursuit in these places of higher learning. Most college libraries allow any local resident the opportunity to use many of their facilities for free. And a writer also gets the benefit of being out and about rather than being all cooped up alone. Being in the midst of others can spawn new ideas just by people-watching.
Listen to Your Favorite Music: Get works from your personal collection and crank it up to your desired decibel level. Don’t listen to the radio, unless you have commercial-free type, because with traditional radio flare, you often have to wait for your favorite tunes to come on while being barraged with endless advertisements and the same current hits being played every two hours. A flow of quality music has this special way of bringing deep emotions to the surface. It is when we tap into our feelings that new ideas and our best writing will emerge.
Take Some Time Off from Writing: Give yourself a break from attempting to produce something. Take a day, weekend, or a longer amount of time off. If you can, leave town for awhile. I come back from my journeys ready to write with a new sense of purpose. One’s writing is best when it is done with interest and from the heart. The writing profession should not imitate the role of Inspector #48 on some assembly line. If it gets to that point, ask yourself why you aren’t solely working in a factory, where the paychecks come a lot easier! Furthermore, apply for all the press trips you can which are in your area or beyond. Going to these events will result in more writing ideas, as well as networking opportunities with other scribes who may even help you find some good tonics for treating writer’s block.
Watch Writing-Themed Movies: When I see my profession showcased on the silver screen, I’m able to identify with the characters portraying writers because they are often going through the positive and not-so positive issues onscreen that I go through in reality. Two of my favorite movies about writing are “Reds”, a three hour-plus epic about writers during the time of the Russian Revolution in the early 1900’s. My other favorite movie with a writing theme is called “The Shining”. This movie, if nothing else, will scare you out of your writer’s block! I mean, you’ll realize what real writer’s block is after you witness Wendy Torrance peeking at her husband’s manuscript that chillingly reads “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, typed over and over, page after page!
When you really think about it, writer’s block has some messages for you: It’s to let go of having to have a new idea in every waking moment; to go out and explore the world around you; and to get into touch with your inner self, where the real ground zero of your profession resides!