♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
How do you move past writer’s block?
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Let me walk you through the steps, but in a minute. First, I’d love to talk a moment about my own experiences. Writer’s block affects every writer. You might not have it now, but it will come up at some point. Trust me on that. Your career will be plagued by this fear inducing black hole.
Yes, writer’s block is totally like a black hole. The thing about it is the cyclical anxiety. You spiral into it half-noticed, but there’s this suspicion that things aren’t going like they used to. Your ideas are coming slower, it’s harder to find time to sit and write, and you worry that you’re making excuses. You are making excuses. It’s part of the problem of the block. Much like depression, it self-perpetuates. Maybe it is a form of depression…
My experience with it was that it followed adversity and grew with each adversity I experienced. So, while I struggled to make headway in my writing career, the number of rejections rose, and the roadblocks continued. Each instance created new gauntlets to navigate. Each time I was mostly at a loss for what to do. The work was hard, real hard. Thus, exhausted and frustrated the art of writing became less the lovely jewel I loved to play with and revel in.
Learning to craft and navigate the publishing world became difficult work. Those I looked to for support lacked the ability to relate, or they utterly lacked empathy and used my frustration to belittle and torment (because not everyone is a friend).
What I lacked in this time of tribulation was a system from which to bounce back successfully. That has to be built very carefully. Let me share with you what I learned from all this, so you can retain that excitement and power you feel when writing.
- First and foremost, be certain of who is your friend, and maintain those relationships with the utmost love and fairness.
- Remove those who do not support you, if you can. If you cannot, then don’t share or engage with them unnecessarily. Protect yourself from the negative wherever you can, because you’ll have to handle enough of that when pursuing publishing.
- Do reach out to make more connections in the writing field. Treat these connections professionally, respectfully, and with the intent of giving back when you are helped. No relationship should ever be all take. Your colleagues deserve fair treatment and consideration as much as close friends and family. And, these are the people you’ll be working with during your career. It matters that you understand all of this. Don’t use people. (See 1 and 2.)
- Writing every day may work for some people but it doesn’t work for all writers. If you need the practice, then feel free to schedule daily times, but mix up your assignments.
- Start over. Take out what you’ve written and start reworking it. Do some research on the topics included. Watch film or television that is similar. Read some books that catch your fancy. Maybe what you’re missing is some bit of information to help you write a better story? That has happened to me on more than one occasion. Sometimes, it has been months to years before I find what I need to continue a work. I still have unfinished work on my shelf, waiting for the right time. That’s not a bad thing!
- Live your best life. Writers won’t have a thing to write if they don’t have experiences to draw from. Go out. Hang out. Do. Read. Live.
- When lost for words, turn to other mediums. As in business or education, reaching into other subjects or mediums often gets the wheels back to grinding.
- Take walks. Listen to music. Meditate. Get deep in your headspace, and let your mind wander and wander. This is a specific example of tip #6. Exercising the mind in different ways can help clear the fog and cobwebs.
- You don’t always have to listen to the advice of others. Howe you write and how you live your writer life is up to you. What works for you is not necessarily the same as what worked for others. Also, there’s no magic answer to publishing. You are allowed to abandon projects, completely change them, or persevere. It is your choice (especially if you chose independent publishing).
- Be prepared to work hard and understand that this is a job, not a highlife you see on film or television. You’re going to need a number of skills to obtain your goal of publication. That includes excellent writing skills, story crafting, design, budgeting, ability to assess potential colleagues who you wish to hire for services (such as editing, proofing, and interior/exterior design), social media skill, advertising, and other duties as assigned.
I hope this list helps you, should you ever experience writer’s block. It is a normal part of being a writer and there are ways to get around it. If you find you’ve tried all the things above and nothing is clicking into place for you, know that it’s okay to take a break. Perhaps the universe is telling you that you need to slow down, or change focus for now.
If you’re like me, you might not like that you have to slow down or take a break, because you’ve set some goals for yourself on a timeline. Reassess your timeline and your goals to see if you’re being too hard on yourself. Publishing isn’t something you can easily predict or manifest. While others might be soaring to the heights around you, know that your path is not their path, and your career in writing will take its own trajectory.
Above all else, write because you love telling stories or informing others. This isn’t a career in which to get rich. Only a small percentage of authors will ever rise to the top. There’s not any way to force yourself into that role. You’re going to have to do a lot of hard work and be very lucky.
Let’s hop on over to the other authors and find out what ways they can help you beat writer’s block…