Haven’t we all stared at that pristine “New Post” window for hours before… maybe typing a few dozen lines only to delete them with increasing violence?
Backspace key taking the brunt of your frustration?
Maybe you do what I do…changing the font and format of those first few lines several times to see if it looks any better in symbols, pretending you’re translating an alien language.
Isn’t Writer’s Block a riot?
Google Search “writers block” and it reveals all kinds of so-called “cures,” things that you absolutely HAVE to do to kill the Writer’s Block Beast. Things like, “Go sit in a meadow with a journal, and write what’s in your heart.”
You go to the meadow, your legs fall asleep, ants crawl up your pants, and if you’re lucky enough to magically think of something to write about, your hand cramps up. What’s in your heart isn’t fit to blog about since most of us don’t specialize in angsty, whiney, drama blogs.
The answer isn’t in some special list of things you have to do, there are a thousand things you could try, and still be staring at that damn screen… it’s in what you’re doing (inadvertently, of course) to sabotage yourself.
Here are the things you probably don’t know you’re doing to block your own creative flow…
Googling for ideas
This is good in theory… but how many times does it end with hours wasted while you troll the internet reading “interesting” blogs and articles, ultimately coming up with nothing to write about yourself. Either nothing moves you, or everything does.
The internet is the ultimate distraction, and there is actually surprisingly little inspiration to be found when it comes to writing.
There are a few places that offer writing prompts, however, that actually can help give you some inspiration. So don’t count out the internet… just try not to get lost in it!
Waiting to be inspired
We’ve all done it. We sit there waiting for something to move us, inspire us, for the words to jump out of our minds, run down to our fingers, and onto the keyboard. Those moments are rare, though… if you wait for that inspired window every time you write, you won’t have much material.
Inspiration is not a dog… it doesn’t come when called, doesn’t sit at your feet complying to your schedule.
Inspiration is a cat… it will come to you when it damn well pleases, and not before. In fact, the harder you try, the more it will avoid you.
So your best bet is to start writing, don’t delete the first lines (you can revise them later), and see if that cat jumps in your lap. Or on your keyboard. Cats like keyboards.
Staring at that blank screen, drinking coffee and becoming increasingly agitated
I take it back. This one works sometimes.
Oh look, Facebook! … and I should Tweet that
Just for the record, I checked my email twice while writing this (with my cat in my lap)… no one is perfect. However, if you take away the temptation by closing the tab that keeps lighting up with irresistible notifications, you’ll probably get more done.
That said; take a Twitter break once in a while.
Who knows, you might actually get inspired by someone else’s random thought. Just don’t forget what you actually sat down to work on.