Writer’s Block

writers-block_Joanne

Types of Writer’s Block

Fear of the Blank Page

Lack of Ideas

Too Many Ideas

Paralyzed By the Inner Critic

Keep Going Back to the Beginning

 

Fear of the Blank Page

That endless sea of white is staring you down. Taunting you. Intimidating you. What to do? Relax. The more you fear writing, the worse it is going to get. Losen up. This isn’t rocket science. Start Free Writing. Write what’s on your mind, write about what’s bothering you. Write about what makes you angry. Write about what makes you sad or happy. Don’t worry about what you think you have to write, just get something down on the page. These writing exercises help loosen you up and release stress. You’ll soon be on topic again.

 

Lack of Ideas

What if you feel you have nothing to write about? Look back to exercise one. What makes you angry, happy or sad? Write about it. Look for articles in the news or social media. Take a situation and play the “What If?” game. Choose a news article. Ask how can this event be made more exciting? What genre would you set it in? What characters would best tell the story? Can you add an sense of urgency? Example: ticking clock. Write down a list of intriguing articles or ideas for future articles, scenes or a book. Keep these ideas on file for future reference.

 

Too Many Ideas

With too many ideas, you can have sensory overload and feel overwhelmed. What to choose? How to choose? Well, you could throw darts at a board or flip a coin. But you could pick your top three ideas and evaluate the merits of three only so you are not awash in a sea of choices. Which one has the most potential for an article, blog post or a novel? Do a light outline for each idea to determine the strongest idea. Which idea has the best potential to be fleshed out? Which one is the strongest contender? Pick the strongest of the three and develop the idea further. That is not to say that your other ideas are no good. This exercise is just to narrow your focus to one idea at a time. You can only write one idea at a time, so focus.

 

Paralyzed By the Inner Critic

Perhaps you are staring at a blank page wondering if you have anything good to say? Is it going to be boring? A waste of time? You will never know until you get it down on the page. Writing is the creative stage. The idea and generative stage. Now is not the time to go into editing mode. You can’t edit a blank page. Do whatever is necessary to shut the critic up. Put your ideas on the page, even if you think it’s lame. Decide later. Create now. So, you have your ideas down on the page. Still don’t like them? Go back to your outline. Have you veered off topic? Gone off on a tangent? Fix it with your outline. Get back on track. This is now the revision stage where you REVISION your project. Look at it from different angles. As in a novel, is this story told by the character that has the most to lose or that will be the most changed at story’s end?

 

Keep Going Back to the Beginning

You’ve gotten at least halfway with your article, post or novel, but now you’ve hit a brick wall. What happens next? Don’t go back to the beginning and keep polishing. Get your whole draft down on the page first. Write now. Polish later. If you’re at a loss, go back to your outline. Outlines aren’t written in stone. They are meant to be flexible, a guidepost. If you come up with a new plot twist, great! Add it to the outline and rework from there. Outlines are a guide, a road map to get you to a destination. You wouldn’t go on a trip without an itinerary or a plan would you?

 

 

There are many forms of writer’s block. But basically it boils down to fear. Fear of failure. Am I good enough? Has it been done before? Don’t let fear paralyse you. Write to the best of your ability. Strive to learn more about your craft everyday. Don’t worry about being the greatest or the best. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. Just be the best writer you can be, for you. Talke satisfaction and pleasure in your writing.

 

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About Willow Renner

I am a writer of three series. YA Dystopian, Sci-Fi, YA Paranormal Fantasy, and YA/NA Apocalyptic fiction. I also blog articles for Struggling Writers. Check me out at: http://www.willowarenner.com

Posted on August 22, 2014, in Struggling Writers and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I definitely suffer from the too many ideas…and I also get overwhelmed by the circumstances of my life…trying to plug away one paragraph at a time…thanks for sharing!

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