Defeating Writer's Block

March 10, 2022

Writers have been taught to fear, even to dread writer's block, that dead-zone, no-progress space that stands between the writer and the writing piece they are trying to complete. 

Many solutions to writer's block have been offered, some so complex that they actually compound the problem.  One answer that has limited results is to set your writing aside, find another creative outlet, returning to the project at some later, undefined time. This works for some. My fear is that I would lose forward momentum. 

I want to share with you a simple 3 step solution to defeat writer's block that works for many writers, including myself. 

1. Write down the question that must be answered about your story to proceed with your writing. Is there a question about the story itself? The characters?  The setting? Hash this question out with yourself. You are the author. You get to decide. The answer can be anything you decide it will be. Identify your question, then decide. 

2. Set aside any questions exterior to the writing piece, for example how you will market it, will your audience like it, what will my publisher/editor/think? This process engages the evaluative side of your brain, as opposed to the creative. Write such questions down separately, and deal with them separately. Just don't let them cut into your writing time or your creativity. 

3. Don't quantify your story too soon with word count, number of pages, etc.  Framing your writing in numerical terms has the effect of engaging your non-creative brain similar to issue 2 above. 

I use these techniques, and they work. I have whatever the opposite of writer's block is, frequently needed to limit my writing projects in topic, scope and variety.  I feel that there are so many topics worthy of a story. In another post I will address maintaining focus specifically for writers. 

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