Noone will have noticed yet, but I’ve not blogged now for two weeks. Two. Whole. Weeks.
I’ve been swept away with an increased workload trying to catch up from my holiday, dedicating hours to the gym to work off the alcohol-induced wobble of my belly, and drawing up plans for The London PA.
Now, I love doing all that – I truly do. I love working hard, getting results and getting back into the swing of things. But all the while I was doing this, I was telling myself I am too busy to write. I have far more “important things” going on right now that writing just took a back seat. But this is wrong, so wrong. Because if I truly believed everything that I wrote then it would be easy to be able to do the writing too, on top of what I’m already doing.
I’ve started writing a blog a few times this afternoon yet have struggled after the first sentence. This has lasted hours – hours that could be perceived as “wasted” – but it has taught me a fair bit.
Someone told me that Stephen King was a valuable source for writing quotes/inspiration, and I found this absolute gem:
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” (taken from his book “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”)
Here are five tips to overcome writers block that I’ve derived today, and tried to incorporate some of these into an afternoon of failed attempts:
- Create a distraction free zone. We, as writers, are unable to stop our minds from being distracted by wandering thoughts. We can however limit other distractions such as mobile notifications, traffic noise at an open window, and sitting in a crowded/busy space. Allowing yourself solitude when writing will give you the freedom to let your thoughts guide your words without interruption.
- Practice your other creative outlets. Put down the pen, and pick up your pencil and sketch pad, or your guitar, or go for a workout – whatever your other outlet may be. If writing is your only outlet then perhaps it is worth seeking another lower priority creative freedom. You’ll find that by tapping into your creative outlet in other ways might just spark a new idea.
- Write just after waking. There is some interesting research which indicates that just after we wake up, our brain is partially still in dream mode (a weird thought). If you try it once, still half-asleep and see what happens perhaps you will surprise yourself (I am trying this myself in the morning!)
- Remind yourself why you write. What is it you are trying to achieve with your writing. It doesn’t matter whether it is a novel, screen play or blog – we all write for an audience (well, I might assume we are anyway). Remind yourself the key reasons you started to write in the first place, and what you are trying to convey. Simply putting at the forefront of your mind the initial intent may be enough to push your next force of creativity onto the paper (screen).
- Stop being critical and just write. If you are sure that you definitely have to write, right here and now then do it – but stop being so hard on yourself. Just allow yourself to free-write. This won’t be my best-written piece, and it’s taken me all afternoon to come around to this idea, but… I’m ok with that.
This is only a small hurdle, it doesn’t mean that you’ve lost your talent and creativity. It would just be boring as hell if it always went swiftly, embrace it and just… WRITE.