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There’s No Such Thing as Writer’s Block

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Writing is All in Your Head

There’s no such thing as writer’s block.

Writer’s block isn’t a real condition. It’s a mental block that keeps you from sitting and writing continuously.

You may avoid writing because you don’t think clearly or you’re feeling anxious over the inability to sit still and write.

Some people simply can’t write without noise. The television, radio, Netflix, people talking, traffic, construction etc. So get those sounds going and sit down where you’re comfortable and start writing.

Limit distractions while writing.

Turn everything off.

No e-mails. No texts. No eating. No other tasks. Focus on what you want to say and express in words.

Before you begin, have a good meal and a cup of coffee for the duration will help.

No wine or alcohol: either will blur your thoughts and when you later re-read your writing, you’ll see the poor quality. You’re not Hemingway. You’re you. You have a lot to achieve so start early and stay sober.

And for those who like to drink and write or imbibe in other stimulants to get the creativity flowing, hey, do whatever you do. But when you don’t finish your book or your project, reflect on the alcohol. Drinking doesn’t help focus.

Please stop saying you have writer’s block. You don’t. You’re avoiding and probably procrastinating doing everything BUT writing. Never put off the practice of writing. FYI: this will only add to your anxiety.

Reasons People Hate Writing

Many people fear and loathe writing because they:

  1. Don’t know what to write
  2. Don’t like to sit quietly without distractions
  3. Like to watch TV, listen to music, text, eat, drink, fool with social media, e-mails, and other nonsense that keeps them from writing
  4. Procrastinate and get anxious because they’ve put off writing
  5. Unsure about telling, sharing opinions and ideas with others
  6. Insecure about ability to use language well

Stop Social Media: Start Writing

If day after day you’re opening your phone or iPad or computer and are posting to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Pinterest, Instagram and all the other social media, you can write.

Those posts take forethought, emotion, opinion and care. Instead, consider compiling the time spent perusing or trolling the Internet for things to pick at to spend time writing.

Hate to Sit at a Desk?

Do you hate to sit at a desk?

Writers call it “Hands On Keyboard Butt In Chair” time. You must have focus. You must sit for HOURS every day writing to become a skilled writer.

Sure, you can handwrite anything but then, who’s putting your information into a computer or document? Don’t romanticize writing. Write.

Write daily, weekly, then, re-read what you wrote. This takes time and focus.

Don’t let the news, media, movies, music, dining, friends, family, shopping, hobbies distract you.

Write. Write every day for at least two hours. If you’re not writing you should be reading. Read everything you can get your hands on from history, to classics, to technology, romance, sports, science, news and any other topic. Be well read by reading.

Read The New York Times Best Sellers Fiction and Non-Fiction.

Go to the library and look up things that you’re interested in.

Write the Way That You Speak

Write the way that you speak because writing is as simple as speaking. The hard part is sitting down and physically writing for hours. But when you sit at the computer, a desk, at home or in an office, you’ll need to concentrate and focus on what you’re doing.

Not an easy task today with all the distractions online. When you write, you should turn off your phone, your devices, television, Netflix, radio, and games.

If you don’t feel compelled to write all the time, or if you’re struggling to tell your story, or to write a story, writing may not be for you.

Don’t mistake poor spelling as an “issue.” Every device has spellcheck. Use it. Don’t worry if a word or most words are misspelled. Your commitment to writing is time.

Turn Everything Off

Turn everything off. Turn off alerts for social media, turn off e-mails. Stop looking at Twitter, Instagram or posting to Facebook. Stop the constant stream of mind candy that comes out of your phone or on your laptop, computer or TV.

Whether you’re typing at a computer or going old style with a pen and paper, you need to concentrate and think about what you’re going to say.

Speak Out Loud as You Write

If your mind is mush while you write, close your eyes, relax and write the first thing that comes into your head. Write the same way that you speak.

Say things out loud and speak out loud as you write. Say exactly what you’re thinking. Talk yourself into it and through what you want to express.

Silence allows you to think without distraction to decide what to say and how to say it so that other people will take interest in it.

You may indeed be a fabulous writer with many exciting stories and insights to share. But you’ll need to sit still and tune out all the distractions that are otherwise demanding your immediate focus.

Write As If No One Will Read What You Wrote

Making an impact on the lives and opinions of others begins with having something to say about a topic, expressing thoughts and insights of your own that creatively display your dazzling array of digital or computer repartee.

If writing is the toughest thing you have to battle all day, you’re not doing so bad. There are worse things than having to write something without any media to tempt you.

Try it. The peace, the solitude will allow you to clear your mind and see things clearly.

You have conversations with acquaintances, business associates, girlfriends, boyfriends, parents, family, coworkers, spouses, and children. You talk to strangers in line at the grocery store. You start conversations with people you meet out in the world every day.

While you’re sitting at your keyboard, fingers punching out letters as you go, write the same way that you speak.

Don’t Use Big Words

Write As You Speak

Write using words that you actually know and use. Don’t use big words.

The No. 1 problem that people have as new writers, or even as skilled writers, is the attempt to impress people with the use of language. It’s ridiculous and obvious when you’re writing outside of your comfort zone because you’ll inaccurately throw in terminology that you never, ever use.

If you’re a writer who spells improperly, or needs to prompt your memory for a word that’s on the tip of your tongue, just use spell check, a dictionary or a thesaurus. Hard copies or online versions are very helpful.

But please, don’t look for big, uncomfortable words to use in your everyday writing. Whether you’re writing a paper for school, a post on a new blog, a literary piece for submission to a publication, use the language that’s comfortable and that comes naturally to you.

There’s only yourself to impress with the use of a new or foreign vocabulary. To everyone else, your misuse or bumbling around with a word that you’re unfamiliar is painfully obvious. It makes all the good writing you created look lousy.

Keep it simple and be honest with yourself. If you want to improve your vocabulary, here’s a novel approach: read.

Turn off your media and read daily. Read a newspaper, read a magazine, read a book. Read for knowledge and read beyond entertainment into the education and learning area of your brain that can actually expand and increase when it’s flexed.

There is no such thing as writer’s block and the key to writing well is to write the same way that you speak.

Writing Tips:

Here are a few writing tips. While you may dread writing, as I know many people do, it’s a matter of what an author friend described so aptly: Hands On Keyboard, Butt in Chair. 

  1. Sit in complete silence
  2. Turn off all media
  3. No social media, texts, or e-mails
  4. Write on a full stomach
  5. Sit in a comfortable chair at a desk that’s ergonomically correct
  6. Plan an hour daily
  7. Write the way you speak
  8. Read regularly to expand your knowledge of words and language use, history and ideaology
  9. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar and punctuation until you’re done writing
  10. Relax. Think about your topic. Start with an introduction. Choose two or three points. Summarize.

Hands on Keyboard Butt In Chair.

Silence.

Commitment.

Focus.

There’s no such thing as writer’s block when you take time to write and you enjoy it.

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