Two innocuous looking words, responsible for a lot of misery. What is writer’s block? In some ways, writer’s block is like procrastination. You may be reluctant to work on a writing project because of fear: you are unsure whether the project will succeed, or you are apprehensive about tackling a mountain of intellectual complexity.
You may also be procrastinating because you don’t feel motivated to write. I’ll be the first to admit that writing is hard work: it’s natural to wish, sometimes, that you could watch a Bruce Lee marathon instead. If your writing goals are not dictated by hard deadlines, it may be even harder to work steadily at the task, no matter how important you think it is or how much you enjoy it. It’s all too easy to defer the things you want to do in the course of the things you have to do (or think you have to do).
In some ways, though, writer’s block is different from other forms of procrastination; staring unproductively at the blank page is different from ignoring that linen closet you should organize. Many times, a writer wants to write but can’t get the ideas to flow. Because it’s inherently creative, our writing is imbued with ideas about who we are. Following the writing process means confronting ourselves, and sometimes that can be a tricky proposition.
So today, I’d like to ask you — the writers — to share your techniques for dealing with and overcoming writer’s block. What do you do to get those ideas flowing?
What strategies work for you when you have to get it done? When you want to get it done?
You all have some amazing ideas: I can’t wait to see what you come up with.