Overcoming Writer’s Block
By Nayaab Maharaj
We’ve all experienced the dreaded writer’s block ordeal. Whether it’s a paragraph, thought leadership piece, or novel, the journey that lies ahead may seem like a hopeless one, but fear not, let these world-renowned authors guide you back to the pen-to-paper path.
“A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.” – Burton Rascoe
Sometimes, just changing your point of view can spark an idea. So why not go for a short walk, sit outside, or stare out the window for a while and let your mind wander.
“You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” – John Rogers
Exactly! The first step is to just start writing. Allocate yourself a set amount of time and write, it does not matter if it is nonsense or magical, just keep writing. Then, once the time is over, take a small break, come back and start editing and rewriting.
“The best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” – Agatha Christie
Another way to spark an idea may be to do something unrelated to writing, such as doing some housework or listening to music.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King
Writing a little each day provides you with increased confidence comfort, as it can turn into a hobby and less of a ‘work’ thing. You may also find it easier to express yourself, as the more you write, the more you get used to the process.
Reading is ultimately a great way to improve your writing as it exposes you to other styles, genres, words, and voices. Reading helps us to learn from those better than us and allows us to connect what we read to our own lives. This comes in handy when we write as it allows us to pull from those experiences and re-imagine them in our writing.
“There is probably no hell for authors in the next world – they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this one.” – C.N. Bovee
You may already know this, but you are your worst critic, and you need to learn how to silence or appease your inner critic by providing yourself with time to show up. While allocating yourself free writing time (Step 2), tell your inner critic that you will fully hear the fears and demands when you are in the editing phase, this gives you the opportunity to write without any boundaries.
“Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Already Taken.” – Oscar Wilde
This one is simple enough. You may feel that what you are saying does not matter or make sense, but your point of view is what makes your piece of writing different from another. Your individuality is your greatest asset, use it!