As I write this, I have writer’s block. I thought a good way to get over it would be to write a piece about how to get over it. Not sure that’s logical, but I figured it’s enough of a cyclical tactic that it’s bound to work eventually. So, that said, in real time, here’s how to get over writer’s block.
Put pen to paper
I hate to say it, but forcing yourself to do it is the only way you’ll get any sort of momentum. I’m pretty sure Nike’s slogan was a product of writer’s block. Even if what you write is complete shit, still make yourself start there. In my experience, it’s not as easy as just sitting down and forcing yourself to write one time and then you’re off to the races—you may have to do this several times until you start feeling like you’re making any progress and that it won’t always be such a battle. So start slow—maybe just jot down a few words today. Tomorrow, a sentence. Wednesday, a paragraph. Etc. And that way, too, if and when you fail, it will at least be a slow burn instead of a miraculous flame-out. #welikeourfailurelikewelikeourgeneralexistence #unnoticed
Stop being a perfectionist
I think part of writer’s block is fear that your product will be terrible. But if you just accept that it will be terrible, or at least less than perfect, you’ll free yourself of pressure to meet a certain standard, and then can write with abandon. No one’s perfect—not even people who claim to be. So don’t let your misguided aspirations/delusions of perfection stop you from expressing yourself—the Catholic church(/actually really any religion) sure doesn’t!
Cry about it
Yes, your creative dry spell is majorly heart-wrenching. So just let it out. Will you ever be able to write again? It’s impossible to say. Have you lost your vision forever? Probably. Are you less insightful, witty, and original than you thought? 100%. You have every reason to weep. And while you should probably just end it all now because clearly you’re going nowhere, also consider getting over it. #buildthatbridge #thenburnit #afteryougetoverit #becauseifyouburnitbeforeyougetoverityouwon’tbeabletogetoverit #butyou’reallclearafteryougetoverit #burnbabyburn #bernbabybern #BernieSanders2016 #seewhatIdidthere
Realize that writer’s block is mostly composed of your laziness
Sure, it’s more glamorous to say that our muse has left us, but really, we’re mainly just too lazy to do the hard work that is writing. I don’t think anyone knows why anyone writes, because it’s really just hard. Overall, the process is agonizing. So it makes sense that sometimes we feel like watching 9 hours of shitty reality TV back-to-back instead. We don’t need to term that “writer’s block”—we can just be honest with ourselves. And also not feel ashamed for it—everyone needs and wants breaks. To be allowed, that instinct doesn’t have to be manipulated into some version of martyrdom.
Focus on what you’d enjoy writing about
And do that. Maybe you’re having writer’s block on a subject that you don’t particularly care about. Makes sense. So if you can switch to something you give 2 shits about (at least—aim for 2-4 shits given), your block may dissolve. I know this is easier said than done, especially if you’re writing on assignment. But try to find creative ways to make whatever you’re writing about more appealing to you so that the process of writing about it will be less painful. One way to accomplish this is to look at every piece of writing as a learning opportunity; everything you write requires some knowledge on your part, and that may mean you have to do some learning before you can write with authority. And learning new things is great—mainly because then when someone says something ignorant, you can shut them the fuck down with complete peace of mind. #writingisyourweapon
Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/worst-get-writers-block/