You have been meaning to write for days now. Every day you look at your desk and think, perhaps I will start tomorrow. Tomorrow however never seems to come. Ah, you think, you must have writer’s block.
You were excited about this project for a while. You sat down and wrote out your first chapter and even the outline for how your book was going to go. Then you went back and edited chapter one again and again. It never seems like it will ever be right. You’re stuck because you can’t get beyond editing chapter one.
You have a deadline looming and you feel like the walls are caving in on you. The song comes on your oldies station and the words “time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future” mocks you as you sit there, afraid that you won’t have anything to present at the deadline. You wish that you had not procrastinated this assignment but you did and you can’t roll back the clock now.
You have been working on writing projects for days, months. You have been putting out ream after ream of work and sending it out only to have it rejected time after time. Now you are sitting in front of the computer wondering if you are really a writer or if you have simply been fooling yourself into believing that you could write in the first place. You are paralyzed. What if what you write now won’t be good enough either?
You have researched and researched your topic. You have read forty books both in print and on e-book. You have scanned hundreds of websites and now you are stumped about where to go from here.
You have worked and worked on this project and you are burned out. You feel as though you want to throw the book out the window. You feel as though something is wrong, but you don’t know what it is, however, you no longer have the energy to put into this project.
If any of these sound like you, you have a diagnosis of writer’s block.
What can you do? Your editor, your instructor, your teacher, your mentor, and even your significant other tell you all you need to do is sit down and write. So you sit down. You stare at the computer screen and still the words do not come. You turn on your favorite oldies radio station and the Song “Fly like an Eagle” by The Steve Miller Band is on. Your time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future. If you don’t get some words on your computer screen. You now have doubts that you’ll get a passing grade, you’ll meet your deadline, or even whether you’re cut out to be a writer at all.
Basic Causes of Writer’s Block
Writer’s Block comes four basic causes:
- You don’t know what to write
- You have too many ideas and can’t figure out where to begin.
- You have an underlying physiological or psychological problem that prevents you from writing. (No that doesn’t mean you’re crazy.)
- You haven’t disciplined yourself to write on a regular basis using a specific process.
What To Do About Writer’s Block
Based on our four causes, I am going to share four basic ways that you can fight writer’s block:
- If you don’t know what to write, Brainstorm various ideas.
- If you have too many ideas and can’t figure out where to begin- Do a brain dump, dump all of your writing ideas as well as any other things that are on your mind. Then prioritize and put what you have written down into some sort of order.
- If you have an underlying physiological or psychological problem that prevents you from writing, journal about what is going on in your life that is keeping you from writing.
- If you lack discipline, determine to write on a regular basis at the same time and place every day. Even if all you have is fifteen minutes between brushing your teeth and making lunch, Write every day and develop a specific writing process.
Writing A Book About Writer’s Block
I know that writer’s block and its causes and the solution to those problems is a far more complicated subject. That is why I have determined to write a book about the subject. I will share more information in my upcoming posts.
Donna Brown is the pastor at Faith in God Church, Brandsville, Missouri. Under her pseudonym, Author Cygnet Brown, she has published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .