DUN DUN DUUUN!
I have to admit, I don’t like the phrase “Writers Block“.
I should to point out at this point, some writers don’t get “writers block“. These I suspect are people who have been writing for a long time and didn’t just decide one day while working in their Orwellian cubical, where if you even think, ‘I hate my job‘ the thought police will drag you away to room 101. And if you return you’ll not only be a studious worker but you’ll be on the fast track to management. Good for you.
So, if you don’t get the blockage you can leave because the rest of us hate you!
If you’re a normal person then read on.
The reason could be you are losing interest in your work. In this case you should probably stop, sit back and think hard about what you are writing. Should you continue to write something you have no interest in writing and start something new?
Maybe the story isn’t exciting enough, which frankly is your own fault because your the one writing it (been there). In which case stop writing the chapter and start one which is more exciting, this way you can still get shit done. But remember a book isn’t just action action action. Sometimes you need to write a story, with characters and stuff.
Maybe your outline isn’t detailed enough and your writing as taken on a life of its own and dragged you someplace you didn’t count on. Instead of freaking out sit back and think it through. Expand your outline. Think about where you are in the chapter and what you want to achieve by the end. Now get to work.
Anne Lamott said in her book Bird by Bird, writers block isn’t so much a blockage of creativity so much as you’re running on empty. Try to think of it as a gas tank which is running on fumes. You just need a refill. And the best way to refill your tank is to experience.
Read a book. Watch a movie. Binge watch Mr. Robot on Amazon Prime. Go out for a walk, and take the dog with you. I’ve found the latter works, because while out on walks I tend to think about writing and it doesn’t take to long, 30 or 40 minutes then i’m back at ‘me’ laptop working away.
There is no cure all for “writers block“, what works for some won’t work for others. Figure out your solution and use it. But try not to stop writing for to long. Even if you have to stop working on your current project, start or at least think about something new.
Personally I can’t force it, it’s not like taking a shit where if I push harder it’ll come out quicker, no. (sorry)
Something I’ve realised while writing this post: I can’t remember the last time this happened to me. Maybe I’m no longer “normal?” It could be the more you write the better your brain gets at sorting out creative problems like this. Extra neurons are created and connections are made, they work specifically during the creative process of writing. It could be now-a-days I put a lot of time and effort into pre-planning, outlining, character profiling and such. Or it could be both or neither.
Whether you believe writers block is real or an excuse Identify the problem (Most “blockages” are because of poor planning) and work out a way to deal with it.
One final note. Your “blockage” could be purely psychological. If you have no support structure. If their are no people encouraging you along the way or if you only get disparaging comments from family, friends and online, than your “blockage” could be a conflict in your subconscious mind “I can do this – No You Can’t!” Retrain your mind, either don’t talk to those people about writing or remove them from your life, which ever is easier. Over the next 6 months your mind, with regards to writing, should slowly “reset“, those conflicting thoughts should stop. Until then do the work, plan out your projects in detail and power through.
Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do this. YOU CAN!