How to Overcome Writer’s Block: An essay from internet tidbits


Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years.

And I, my dear friends, am suffering from this illness. The Block stands in my way like a wall, and I want to write, I have the plot, but I have no idea how to continue the story.

American poet William Stafford offers this advice to poets who suffer from Writer’s Block: “There is no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.” This sounds terrible at first. “What? I’m supposed to write junk? I need a good grade! I’m better than that!” No, Stafford is not encouraging writers to produce garbage. He is suggesting, however, that it’s easy to take yourself too seriously, to think you’re going to write a poem or an essay that is going to be the greatest poem or essay ever written, that you’re going to formulate the greatest, loveliest, most intelligent statement ever made.

Below are some quotes on writer’s block by famous authors. I suggest you read through all of them and get up and write (I wish I could do that right now).

“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’” — Maya Angelou

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain

“The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.” — Ernest Hemingway

“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” — Hilary Mantel

“Writer’s block…a lot of howling nonsense would be avoided if, in every sentence containing the word WRITER, that word was taken out and the word PLUMBER substituted; and the result examined for the sense it makes. Do plumbers get plumber’s block? What would you think of a plumber who used that as an excuse not to do any work that day?

The fact is that writing is hard work, and sometimes you don’t want to do it, and you can’t think of what to write next, and you’re fed up with the whole damn business. Do you think plumbers don’t feel like that about their work from time to time? Of course there will be days when the stuff is not flowing freely. What you do then is MAKE IT UP. I like the reply of the composer Shostakovich to a student who complained that he couldn’t find a theme for his second movement. “Never mind the theme! Just write the movement!” he said.

Writer’s block is a condition that affects amateurs and people who aren’t serious about writing. So is the opposite, namely inspiration, which amateurs are also very fond of. Putting it another way: a professional writer is someone who writes just as well when they’re not inspired as when they are.” — Philip Pullman

My biggest excuse to others and myself was that I had writer’s block, as if it was some kind of illness.— Mary Garden

The scariest moment is always just before you start [writing]. After that, things can only get better. – Stephen King

 

10 types of writer’s blocks:

1. You can’t come up with an idea.

2. You have a ton of ideas but can’t commit to any of them, and they all peter out.

3. You have an outline but you can’t get through this one part of it.

4. You’re stuck in the middle and have no idea what happens next.

5. You have a terrible feeling your story took a wrong turn a hundred pages back, and you only just hit a dead end.

6. You’re bored with all these characters, they won’t do anything.

7. You keep imagining all the reasons people are going to say your story sucks, and it paralyzes you.

8. You can’t think of the right words for what you’re trying to convey in this one paragraph.

9. You had this incredibly cool story in your head, and now you’re turning it into words on a screen and it’s suddenly dumb.

10. You’re revising your work, and you can’t see your way past all those blocks of text you already wrote.

To see exactly how to overcome each kind of the writer’s block mentioned above, I highly suggest you read this

For quick writer’s block-curing ideas, I recommend this website called 911 Writer’s Block. It’s great!

I also loove Chaotic Shiny, which has countless fun and helpful generators that really help out, whether you have Writer’s Block or not.

 

 Sources:

Wikipedia the Great

Flavorwire

This Website Whose Name I Do Not Know

io9 (wrong post but I’m too lazy.)

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