You find yourself staring at a blank page or worst, for me, a page full of words that only moments ago were being filled by the most imaginable action when boom! The mind suddenly goes blank, the words refuse to coming out or you can’t spit them out, and your hand stops moving.
What transpires is some sort of nothingness that slowly kills the idea. The well suddenly goes dry and there’s this silent void. Many times I experience such a nightmare, especially when there’s a deadline fast approaching!
Writer’s block! In choked desolation, a writer feels their muse had abandoned them. It’s one’s desperation – a terrible longing – for ideas and inspiration, like a stranded man desperate for water in the desert. It’s a disease of the mind, and worst, the death of the arts.
Many writers dread writer’s block as homemakers dread losing power in winter. The body is willing but the mind is not. For a writer, to refuse to write is blasphemy, but to be rendered unable to write is death. Writer’s block spells the end of a writer’s career and the death of literature and of languages should legions of writers suffer the same fate.
But just like with any disease, a cure to writer’s block is possible. As with death, resurrection is possible, at least in fiction. How could a writer overcome this? Or how should a writer deal with it?
As much as I dread writer’s block, I see it as an opportunity to take a much deserved break. Sometimes you just have to push away from your writing and take a break. We writers ought to rest. The situation we dread does call us to drop the pen or log off for a while and embark on activities other than writing.
Every writer has their own unique ways to overcome writer’s block. Listening to music has always been a huge motivation for me because it provokes feelings and emotions. It keeps my soul alive and my mind fresh – it opens me up for new ideas. The words and melodies sustain the soul. Know what I mean?
It also helps if we go for a long walk or work out at the gym. We could head to the beach and surf, go on a picnic, visit the wilderness, etc. Physical and outdoor activities help dispel whatever negative energy we suffer as result of our writer’s block. It helps if we do not brood over it too much because it will only increase the stress and frustration that we already experienced. A writer should strive to become resilient when dealing with such a problem.
Sometime doing things that are easy and mindless – activities that do not make you think – make sense. They give your mind a break. They allow your brain to rest – a beauty rest or power nap for your muse.
Talking your plot out with someone or alone out loud can sometimes trigger those creative juices. Re-reading what you’ve already written can stir your mind to add or change the mood of the story line, opening up another avenue of thought. I’m sure there are many ways to get past a writer’s block that I haven’t mentioned but these are just a few of the things that have worked for me. Sometimes it takes days to get back on track, but you do get back!
Should a writer overcome writer’s block, it’s a joy to behold. He or she is like a phoenix that rises from the ashes.