Work Through Writers' Mental Block
Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Lynn, Eng, Doug Collins
For a lot of writers, writing can be their biggest foe, practically no different from a scorpion crawling up your leg or a mugger sticking a knife underneath your chin. For those who are struggling to settle down and write, this may be a gross exaggeration, but it boils down to the same type of feeling when facing the challenge of working through the mental issue of writer's block.
But why, why is this an issue for so many people? Even the most gifted writers are not spared from this. Somewhere, somehow, something happens along the way. Think as far back as you can remember - in preschool, for instance. Your penmanship and the way you formed words and letters were carefully scrutinized by your teachers and your parents. Either you were writing in the wrong direction, you weren't doing the "ideal" strokes, or you weren't doing cursive the right way. Then you went to high school and were told that your essays didn't make any sense at all. Similar experiences kept repeating themselves during college and beyond - with your thesis, your dissertations, and even the simplest forms of writing, such as writing a thank you note.
Clearly, this vexing problem involves not just practical, but emotional factors as well. So here are some tips you can use to gradually beat mental block
- 2Flush out your critics.Advertisement
- 3Begin writing your first sentence.
- 4Take things one step at a time.Don't think about all your deadlines and all your assignments lined up because that can be totally overwhelming. Just work through one small part at a time - a chapter of the book you're trying to write, or if that is still too much, maybe just the first paragraph - for now. After you've reached this reasonable objective, pat yourself on the back and start thinking about how you can go through the next step.
- 5Take on a routine.
- 6Make your writing experience a wonderful journey.
- 7Stop agonizing over the finished product.
- 8Learn to say no.Apologize that you can't be with them, but learn to be firm and say no, because this is your designated writing schedule. Once you stop making excuses for postponing your writing, things will get easier for you.
- 9Jot down your expectations.
- 10Destroy those myths.
Tips and Pitfalls to Avoid
The list above is not an instant remedy to overcome your block; rather it is merely a guideline that will hopefully help you weave through all your anxiety and confusion over writing. As a matter of fact, you can come up with your own list as days go by, and you can find new and exciting ways to help you go through your writing difficulties. In the meantime, here are some tips you can follow and pitfalls to avoid during the process:
- 1Know that even "the greats" are not recognized by their contemporaries. Einstein was four years old before he even began to speak, and didn't start reading until hen he was already seven.The music teacher of Beethoven told him that he was hopeless composer. And Walt Disney was sacked by his editor when he was working for a local newspaper because according to him, Disney had no good ideas. So don't get easily discouraged when things don't work out right away.Advertisement
- 2Love your barriers. Everyone has barriers that keep them from moving forward.You put boundaries on your life experiences. You put a limit to what you allow yourself to be, to have, to do. Some people even have anxiety at the thought of being successful. Once you learn to love the barrier, accept and experience it, it starts to lose its power over you.
- 3Be eager to learn. Don't freak out at the thought of failure; instead, try to think of it as another opportunity to learn, to grow, to improve.Come to think of it, there's no other way to get better unless you fail.Advertisement
So there you go. Hopefully these simple thoughts and tips can help you work through writer's block. Enjoy writing!
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
Categories : Writing
Recent edits by: Eng, Lynn, Nerissa Avisado