Writer’s Block

by Eleanor Olson on March 17, 2009

According to something I have read, writer’s block is the patron demon of the blank page. I’m sure almost all of you agree with me. This is the source of most of our headaches when we want to write something but nothing comes out not even an idea.

I’m talking about sweat trickling down the back of your neck, anguish and panic and suffering kind of blank. The tighter the deadline, the worse the anguish of writer’s block gets.

It doesnt necessarily matter if you’ve done a decade of research and all you have to do is string sentences you can repeat in your sleep together into coherent paragraphs. Writer’s block can strike anyone at any time. Based in fear, it raises our doubts about our
own self-worth, but it’s sneaky. It’s writer’s block, after all, so it doesn’t just come and let you know
that.

Here’s a list of what might possibly be the cause of this terrible and terrifying condition:

  1. Perfectionism
  2. Editing instead of composing
  3. Self-consciousness
  4. Can’t get started
  5. Shattered concentration
  6. Procrastination

How to Overcome Writer’s Block

  1. Be prepared. The only thing to fear is fear itself.
  2. Forget perfectionism. No one ever writes a masterpiece in the first draft.
  3. Compose instead of editing. Never, never write your first draft with your monkey-mind sitting on your shoulder making snide editorial comments.
  4. Forget the first sentence. You can sweat over that all-important one-liner when you’ve finished your piece. Skip it!
  5. Concentration. Create a space, perhaps even a physical one, where nothing exists except the single present moment.
  6. Stop procrastinating. Write an outline.

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