“Writer’s block”…. The mere mention of it sends shivers down the most experienced of writers. According to the dictionary, writer’s block is “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.”
While it is easily defined, writer’s block is a multi-layered concept that can be tackled from different angles.
The blank page block
This tends to happen when you find yourself staring at a white page and are not able to write anything at all. In that instance, it is recommended to just write about anything and everything without any aim or goal, without following through any plot or plan. Just get started and the rest will flow.
The muddy swamp
This happens when you feel like you have no idea how to go forward anymore. While a few days ago you were writing like there was no tomorrow, today you find yourself stuck, not knowing how to move forward. In a case like this, you could stop for some time and take a few days away from it all to recharge, and gain a fresh perspective.
The paralyzing fear
You feel like you are paralyzed in fear, in anticipation of imagined criticism by others. You are so afraid of how others might see your work that you just won’t write a thing. In situations like these, you will need to remember that these fears have no objective base and are simply a part of your own projections of how the future will be. In reality you can not anticipate the future or others’ reactions but the best that you can do is just start writing and keep up your critical eye for the revision time.
The paralyzed characters
You might feel like sometimes that the characters that you created have lost their sparkle. While they initially appeared to be energetic and vibrant characters, they now seem to be stuck in inactivity a dozen pages later. In this case, you can try to spend more time working on the depthness of your characters, their sense of purpose, their needs and desires, as well as their inner conflicts and fears.
The paralyzed verb
Sometimes you might get stuck on a verb. While you know exactly how your story is moving along, you feel like you can not move forward until you find that exact verb in this specific sentence. You might spend a whole day staring at the screen just trying to pinpoint this verb to no avail. Sometimes, spending this time might be worth it because identifying this right verb may be just what you need to bring together the pieces of your story’s puzzle. However, if this seems to be taking longer that you think it should, then it might easier to just pick any verb to get going and edit it later once you figure it out.
The vanishing story
You might have had an amazing story formulated in your head but as soon as you executed it and started writing it, the whole glitter just withered away and you were left with a shriveled story.
In such a situation, try to see past your worries and fears of criticism to figure out whether you are just too worried about what others might think of your story. If you still feel that your story might not be up to your standard, then you could try writing parts of your story from a another’s character’s point of view and see how it goes. Or you could try to take a step back and write up a synopsis of your story in order to be able to evaluate it objectively and whether you need to work on some loose ends. If all else fails, it might also be wise to start afresh, and who knows your story may end up being a stepping stone for your next success.
Regardless of whether you are blocked because of your fears, your characters, your words, or your story. One thing is true and can always be helpful. As Pychyl (2013) suggests: “Just get started!”, and the rest will flow.
Mona Merhej Moussa, PhD
Children’s Books Author
based on http://io9.com/5844988/the-10-types-of-writers-block-and-how-to-overcome-them
Pychyl, T.A. (2013) Solving the Procrastination Puzzle, Penguin Group, New York
1- Accept constructive criticism.
2- Read as many novels & genres as you can before publishing.
3- Read your work out loud.
4- Leave your work to rest for a while, it will definitely show you its better image later on.
5- INSIST on an editor, keeping in mind that your ego could stand in the way of a beautifully written story.
6- Never be afraid of making changes to your story. It might turn out even better than you thought.
7- When stressed out, take a break. Indulge your senses to revive your thoughts.
8- Sing at the top of your lungs.
9- Be original.
Ways to boost imagination:“Imagination is more important than knowledge” ~ Albert Einstein
* Be ready to explore new paths, don't be afraid to try anything new
* Attend workshops, all kinds, it will open new doors
* Read and tell stories
*Listen, a good listener is always a good writer
* Curiosity might kill a cat, but it will revive your thoughts
* Spend time with creative people, children are the best teachers in this field
* Relax, travel, exercise, socialize....and take notes during all of that
Hunna Blog, a peek into the pages of our notebooks and our minds. Not a literacy area rather a jungle of thoughts.