The dreaded feeling of writer’s block can be lurking around every corner, ready to pounce when the poor, unsuspecting writer least expects it.
Or so that’s what we’re lead to believe. In reality, writer’s block is no big deal. It’s not even a real problem. What writer’s block actually is is a symptom of a variety of other problems.
Reason # 1: You have no plan
The most common appearance of writer’s block comes in this form: The writer sits down at the computer and says, “Okay, it’s time to write.” Thirty minutes later, he’s still staring at the blank white screen, wondering what went wrong.What went wrong is that he went in with no plan. I know when I first started trying to write fiction, I came to the end of countless four-hour long sessions with a measly 300 words or less, due to this problem.
The solution is simple: have at least a vague idea of what you plan to work on before you get started so that you don’t find yourself stuck in front of the blank white screen.
Reason # 2: You’re scatterbrained
Another type of writer’s block I experienced early on was caused by lack of focus. I had a handful of short stories started and I couldn’t decide which one to work on. I’d go back and forth and back and forth, reading the two or three opening sentences I had for each one. It was like a ping pong game of procrastination. For me, the cure was to pick one story and force myself to stick with it until I hit a certain word count for the night, say 500 words before moving onto another story.
Reason # 3: You have no vision of where you want your story to go
The final type of writer’s block that I’ll talk about today is caused not by lack of ideas, but by uncertainty. I’m not a fan of outlining an entire story from beginning to end, but if I don’t have at least some idea of where I want the story to go, it just trails on until I get stuck. I have a really well-written WIP that was born from a character profile I came up with. But since all I had was a character with no story, I spent over 6500 words trying to find a story for him and still not coming up with any sort of coherent plot. And then I got stuck and Mr. Writer’s Block came to visit. That character and his 6500 words are currently resting in my idea folder hoping to one day find something to do that will have a beginning, middle, and end.
So if you’re a new writer and you find yourself stuck with writer’s block, take a break and ask yourself what is causing it. Once you figure that out, you’ll quickly be able to overcome it.
What about you? Why are some of the reasons you may have trouble writing? Leave a comment and let us know!