Writer’s block is a state where you are not able to create or write something original. In essence, you are stuck at a point and seems to hit a dead end. ‘Block’ sounds too harsh and extreme, I would say it is a temporary state that you would overcome, eventually!
There may be many reasons for getting stuck at a point.
- Procrastination: Avoiding doing what is required or postponing it for another day/ time/ weather! “I will do it in my room because that is the place I decided to write at” “Tomorrow morning would be better” “Let me think more, and then I will put it all together in one shot”… could be among the stories you may be telling yourself to postpone.
- Perfection: You want to write a perfect story the moment you start typing. You are in a reader’s mode and trying to evaluate your thoughts and looking for an ideal word/ sentence/ scene that will impress the reader.
- Conflicting thoughts: You have many ideas for a single scene, but you are not able to choose the best. ‘The best’ keeps you away from even getting to an ordinary.
- Waiting for inspiration to write?
- What the readers may love?
There is no one formula. None is perfect either.
Potential ways to deal based on my experience:
- Talk to the characters: Well, you really can, if you try: I love this. I did talk to the words. They will respond. Try. It is to experience.
- Read a book: Most would advise doing so. It worked the most for me. Reading is the second-best for writing. When you are stuck, thoughts can get untangled while reading. I completed two books reading while I was writing my book. I would suggest reading some light, easy books from another category than what you are writing about, to avoid getting influenced. I read Animal Farm by George Orwell (for the nth time), and This is Marketing by Seth Godin while writing my book!
- Don’t try to be perfect: Chances to get ‘that picture-perfect’ short in the first attempt is low, though you should try but not get stuck with that. There is a reason why a book is called a draft, then becomes a manuscript and then a final product. If Bollywood stars inspire you, they also – try, improve, rehearse several times over and over to get close to perfection.
- Keep jotting down your ideas: I remember stopping at the middle of the road to jot down some fleeting ideas on my mobile to build upon later. Capture the ideas in whatever means you have handy than trying to recollect what that idea was later!
- Don’t push too hard to write and get frustrated for not being able to. Every athlete takes a break after performing. Even the mean machine that runs on the F1 track must make a pit stop to ensure it makes it to the finishing line! Listen to your body and give it a break when needed though not for days together.
- Do what you love: I would either play with my son or eat (that shot my weight in kgs and reduced options of what I could wear!)
- A fixed routine always works so your brain knows what is expected at that point!
Hope some of it will work for you.
‘7 Untold Secrets of Living Abroad’ is my first book and is #1 Best Seller on Amazon India.
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