This is as much a reminder to myself as it is an offering of advice for those who are where I am – stuck in the hell of writer’s block.
In my instance, I get writer’s block for one of two reasons.
- I’m trying to put characters into situations they’d never be in.
- I’m stressed to my limit and have no capacity for creativity until I handle things that are well beyond the realm of writing.
In the first instance, the solution is comparatively easy. I step back, think about what the characters would do, and make adjustments.
The second is where I am right now, and it’s more involved. First, there has to be self-care. Eat healthy food, drink water, exercise in some fashion, rest properly, and so on. Then, there has to be time to write.
Setting aside that time is so important, even when it’s frustrating to stare at a blank page. To keep that time separated from the chaos in my life, I will put my phone on do not disturb, close all windows on the computer except the document I’m working on, and create space to go with the time.
At the worst times, I want to keep writing and continue building skills, but perhaps the main story is just sitting there like a brick wall. In that case I write something else. It might not even be a story – only a scene that my mind likes to play with. The key is to create during the time I write.
Also, remember not to rush yourself with your writing. If you try to set a time to write before you have to leave for work, you’ll be staring at the clock and making things worse.
The last thing I’ve seen others do is thankfully not an issue for me, but I’m including this reminder here. Stop telling yourself that your writing sucks. Even if it does. Give yourself permission to suck.