It’s one of the most frustrating things I encounter while writing.
It used to be that if I got writers block, I would not write, and I found that, that wasn’t the way to push past it. Not writing meant that no writing was getting done, no words were getting on the page – which meant no progress.
I feel like everyone has probably struggled with and through writers block. Sure, I’m talking about writing stories, but I had my fair share of writer’s block while trying to write college papers and assignments. Sometimes my brain just wouldn’t let me get the proper words down on paper, and it’s frustrating. Not being able to figure out how to phrase and word sentences, what words to use to best describe what it is you are trying to write about. It can make a relatively easy assignment into a multi-hour or day ordeal which is just stressful.
My biggest times for writers block is normally in the month of November, and then December. You might be wondering why those two months. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo – I do have a video coming out where I talk about NaNoWriMo and my experience with it so far, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here). The goal of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in the month of November, 30 days. It can be tough on top of school work and jobs, but I alway enjoy it every year.
The point of bringing up NaNo in this post is because in 2011 – my first year participating – I ended up with the WORST writer’s block ever, which lead me to finishing 25,000 words in the last five days – I finished with two minutes to spare. I physically couldn’t form words – nothing came out, my brain was incapable of english when it came to my story. I honestly don’t know why it was so bad, but for two weeks, I was unable to write anything creative for the story. I did finish, but the story was rubbish. Ultimately I ended up just spewing words, and I’m pretty sure that the majority of those 25,000 don’t make sense.
Then usually, after NaNoWriMo I’m creatively drained, so I usually don’t do writing in December, so I more or less take the month off and just read.
Now, when I encounter writer’s block, I force myself to push through it, even if the writing is terrible, if it sucks, if it doesn’t make any sense to the story I’m writing – because I can always go back and change it. I’m not going to lie. It took me a long time to realize that. For a long time I felt like anything I wrote had to be perfect, which isn’t realistic. No one writes a perfect first draft – well at least I’ve never met someone who has told me that whatever they write it perfect from the very beginning. I definitely believe that writing is a building process, that with each edit, each revision, each read through, the story gets better – that isn’t to say that all your time should be spent on editing and revising, because you can tweak something forever and convince yourself that you aren’t happy with it. I’m guilty of doing that, and still sometimes do that, but I’ve also come to terms with the fact that my stories aren’t going to be perfect the first time I put them down on paper. So when I do get writer’s block I just write whatever I can, and then I highlight it so I can find it later.
I find that, that is the great thing about writing – words change all of the time, and as the creator of my own worlds, I can tweak and change them until they are perfect pieces.
Writer’s block is a pain, I’m not going to lie about that. I hate when I get it, but I try my hardest to make sure it doesn’t keep me from putting words, even if they are crappy, on the page. If powering through it doesn’t help, sometimes going the old fashioned route with pen and paper helps me clear my head. There’s something about doing it long hand in a journal, and seeing the words form that helps me get through it and work out ideas.
I know that not everyone can just power through writer’s block, that everyone has their own ways of dealing with it.
Let me know how you all deal with writer’s block.