I had been trying to write a first draft post since the early hours of today. But the more I tried, the more I felt stuck.
I really refused to call it writer’s block because like Seth Godin, I am a firm believer that no one has talker’s block.
This means that since I have something to say, then I have something to write about.
As a matter of fact, I could even choose to write about writer’s block. It’s really a wonderful idea about blocking the thoughts that block your performance. And the best part about blocking such thoughts is that I’m exploring new ways to get to that point where I write creatively on autopilot. I’m not the only one who does certain things on autopilot. You do too.
If you have ever practiced doing something until you stopped putting in extra energy to get it right, then you did that thing on autopilot. Top athletes do. Top thinkers do. And most artists do.
You just get to the point in your life’s journey where you can easily come up with answers to your craft within seconds.
Your brain just seems to know how to figure out a way in a lot less time than the average joe will take. That’s being on autopilot.
How I began this post
In my mind, I envisioned myself writing out this post.
To even go further, I went ahead and made some artwork sketches of what my post format will look like. I didn’t use a pencil. I used a pen. I used a pen because it won’t be easy to erase the sketch marks.
It’s not something I do every time before I begin to write. That’s like a writing ritual. I understand that most of the bestselling authors in history had their own writing rituals; but not me – at least for now.
Maybe in future, I’ll have one. But for now, I’m still on the journey of discovering, loving and being patient with the developing writer that is emerging from within me.
And as for the sketch, it had a beginning, the middle points and a paragraph for conclusion.
All these little actions sent messages to my subconscious mind to let them know that I was ready to physically write a blog post.
The whole idea is that writers’ block can be overcome.
Writer’s block can be blocked.
Use these tips to defeat that article opponent.
Stop focusing on the block. Focus on your reward.
When you focus your mind on writer’s block, you’ll find yourself struggling to come up with something reasonable. I know this from firsthand experience.
The solution: Think of the outcome of your writing. What are you going to benefit from writing what you write?
Your reward may not be monetary. It might be the satisfaction of proving a contrary opinion wrong.
It might also be the sense of fulfillment that comes from achieving a set goal – example, you achieved a particular word count you intended to achieve. Your reward might even have something to do with hitting the publish button.
Whatever it is, just start by focusing on the reward of your writing. It really does something to your brain. It tells your brain that your article is possible.
It can be achieved with both mental and physical efforts.
It releases the right emotions that stir your body to excitement. It gets you to the place where you want to write.
It positions you to come up with the appropriate words for your audience.
Stop feeling anxious. Start feeling good about your writing.
When you feel anxiety whenever you think of writing, you might be scared of what people will say in the comment section. In this case, you’re not consciously (or subconsciously) sure of how you’ll handle criticism if it comes.
The solution: Get excited about your work. Your work is yours. Your work is your brain child. No one would love your writing better than you do. No one will appreciate your writing better than you. No one will better understand your passion for writing the topics that interest you better than you.
Express gratitude for your ability to say something using the written word.
It’s a skill that millions of people don’t have. And for many who do have writing skills, they do nothing with that ability.
But you; you take action. You don’t mind giving it to the world. You understand that true art is never finished. You do your best. And you never stop improving your craft.
As for the critics to your writing, I encourage you to realize that many of them have never written a five hundred word essay.
Many of them are just talkers and not doers.
But you; you’re different.
You understand that writing is a lot like life – it is a journey.
You just have to take action everyday.
You write everyday. You might not publish what you write. But you make sure you do write something.
Pound that keyboard away, and don’t let any form of internal pressure or unhealthy criticism stop you from crafting out your message.
In essence, feel good about your writing.
Stop killing your interest in your topic. I mean it.
When you think of your topic as ‘boring’, you’ll gradually lose interest in your topic. It doesn’t matter if your writing is about dogs, cats, computer software, website coding, cars, robotics or whatever you decide – just fill in the blank.
The Solution: Love your topic. And this applies to all your crafts. The more you love your craft, the more you’ll want to do it. The more you’ll want to do it, the more you look for new ways to do it better and quicker.
One of the signs that show that you’re really interested in your topic is that you’ll be healthyily invested in it emotionally. I’m talking of you starting out as an unpaid advocate of that particular field of writing.
I talking of being so passionate that you won’t mind showing up – even if you weren’t paid to do it.
Compensation is great. A big payoff day tastes even better but it won’t be enough a motivation to make you abandon your writing.
You can’t just fake your passion. Actually no one does.
Situations always have a way of showing up to reveal those who are passionate about what they do. And those who just look for something to do because they feel that there’s nothing else to do.
If you’re not sure about what to write, research it.
The reality is that no one knows it all. But everyone has an equal opportunity to learn the things that they’re passionate about. And as for you, innovative search engine technologies from companies like Google and Yahoo have even made online research easier than before. They’re offering many tools for you to learn what you want online and offline.
If learning by research is not your thing then you may have to ask for help from a friend or colleague. You can even hire a professional to help you out. Hiring may eat into your purse but if the person is really skilled in this area, you’ll be glad you paid for it.
You can also use the search button on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to search for writing groups and experts using specific writing keywords.
All I’m saying is…
Writing doesn’t have to be intimidating.
Don’t mind the blank screen because it is what it is – a blank sheet.
On a blank sheet, you have the opportunity to sketch, to erase, to draw, to describe, to flow, to stop, to think visually, to accept yourself for who you are.
All in all, a blank screen gives you the opportunity to express the power of life that is within you.
So, here’s a recap…
- Stop focusing on the block.
- Stop feeling anxious.
- Stop killing your interest in your topic.
Over to you
Have you ever panicked when you stirred at the blank screen? How did you beat writers’ block on that faithful day?
See you in the comments.