When we can’t get our writing moving, we blame it on writer’s block.

Is writer’s block something physically mighty  that we can’t crack it?

Most of us are clueless when it comes to handling writer’s block. We treat it like the common cold. There’s no cure for it. We just have to be patient and it will pass. 

Painful Questions 
How many of us have really sat down and pondered over why we are blocked? All we need to do is ask, “Why don’t I feel like writing? What can I do about it now?”

These are questions most of us avoid. We  choose to either abandon what we are working on or just ignore it. Just because one swing of the axe doesn’t bring the tree down, we throw the axe away and walk off.   

Over time, this throwing the axe away and walking off hardens into an unbreakable habit.

If we
ask these questions, no matter how painful they are, then maybe we can find the root cause of the block and remove it once and
for all. If we have the courage, that is.

Own Doing

For
many years, I was clueless, too, as to how to tackle writer’s block. When I
started writing and couldn’t move ahead, I would just ditch the project, regarding it as my inability to see a piece of writing to completion. 

Maturing as a writer, I realized that the writer’s block was not an
external force that assaulted me when I started writing. Instead, it was
something that sprang from the weakness of my own system.

Mental Clarity

Usually when I hit a snag, it was due to lack of mental clarity. I didn’t really know where I was heading. When writing a novel, I started the writing without an end in mind. 

If
there was an ending, the theme or the underlying message wasn’t clear enough.

Or
what was the ultimate story question? Did the heroine marry the blind man who saved her from a murder attempt?

Or what question did the novel ask
of society? What business have you to retard the progress of an individual in the name of adherence to outdated customary practices?

Or what message did the novel purport to deliver? A winner is someone who cuts his own path instead of following the path of the herd and amass material wealth?

I find that if I have possible answers to such questions, the writing  proceeds without much of a  hitch. It’s as if you have a compass to guide you through the writing journey. 

Pushing On

I’m
not saying you’re guaranteed to finish your novel if you have all those questions answered in advance.

Chances are if you’re new to to the
game, the novel will not come out as you expected it to. Even if you have planned everything to the last detail.

On the flip side, Many have proceeded without even the barest of outlines and completed book after book. They find their theme, ending, climax and so on in the act of writing.

They  keep pushing on when all
around them is darkness because they know from experience if the keep rolling they’ll soon see light at the end of the tunnel.

Why not give this approach a try instead of throwing in the towel when you stall.
Bottom line? Whether you write with an outline or not, you’ve got to sail through the storm to rescue your novel and kept it afloat until you reach the shore.

The Biggest BS

Some
years ago, I read about a published writer who confessed that he had
been afflicted with writer’s block for years and couldn’t write
anything

This I regarded as the biggest BS and the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard for not writing.

I
came to the conclusion that this writer had just intentionally allowed himself to be
in his comfort zone and allowed writer’s block to
wrest control of his writing life.

Fair
enough if he couldn’t write what he was working on. Couldn’t he write something else? What about outlining his work or just writing the
section that comes easily to him?
I
think if you badly want to write, you will write something. Even if
it’s not good enough when you start, you’ll improve as you push along as your engine gets sufficiently warmed up.
There’s no such thing as writer’s block bringing you to a complete standstill. If it is, it’s your own doing, because you allowed it to.

Seth Godin’s Take

As you may well know, Seth Godin is a prolific writer who writes motivational stuff and so on.

In a recent interview he was asked whether he had to grapple with writer’s block when he sat down to write.

His
reply: “This is a fancy term for fear. I avoid it by not getting it.
Because I write like I talk and I don’t get talker’s block.”

Let’s examine the first part of the reply. Is writer’s block another name for fear?

Yes,
in most instances. Writer’s block doesn’t leave you completely paralyzed in a manner that you can’t pick up the a pen and write a few
words or tap away at the keyboard. Writer’s block doesn’t prevent you
from writing. It’s the fear you create in you that renders you immobile.

Writer’s block is an unwelcome guest of honour you invite when you set out to write
perfect, ‘high-quality’ stuff. When the perfectionist in you says what you’re producing isn’t perfect, your mind turns blank. Words stop flowing. 

So,
writer’s block is fear that you can’t write perfect or your writing
will go nowhere if you keep on writing. It’s not physically debilitating. It doesn’t render you immobile. You choose to stagnate. 

Accord No Recognition
What if you don’t recognize writer’s block?

What
if you say never mind if my writing is going nowhere. It’s just normal with
all writers, including the successful ones. 

What if you  override the
negative voice which says that its not going anywhere and say instead
that it’s will go somewhere if you continue. Once the writer in you have that undying confidence, writer’s block has no place in your writing life.

Like
Seth Godin said, do you get talkers block? Do you stop talking just because you can’t speak perfect words like those actors in the movies? No because you’re confident
about your speech. You know it’s good enough. You know you’ll never go wrong. Even if you do,
you’ll correct it.

Critics Not On Your Radar

Are you writing to impress?
“Will my writing be good enough to impress the reader?”
Don’t think about the critics when you write, even if
they have been bashing your work. What are they saying? Are
they asking you to stop writing because your work isn’t good enough for
them? 

In my experience, very few critics have said if you keep on with what you’re
doing, you’ll improve. Since they are not saying it, you say it to yourself at least twenty-one times a day.

Your Words Are Good Enough!

So start writing simply. As simply as you use words when talking. Have faith in your words even if you think they aren’t jewels.

If the words you have are good enough for talking then they are good enough for writing.