Overcoming Writer’s Block by Steph Beth Nickel

Last time, we talked about A Different Kind of Writer’s Block.

This time, we’re going to discuss how each of the hurdles I mentioned can assist us in overcoming writer’s block.

Skills Development Books

How these books can help us overcome writer’s block seems self-evident, but there are steps we must take if this is to become a reality.

  1. We must read the books. While this is obvious, I have dozens of books on my physical and virtual shelves that have gone unread for years. They will only help me improve my writing and overcome writer’s block if I actually read them.
  2. We must put into practice what we learn from these books. Practicing the skills we’re learning is crucial.
  3. We must refuse to listen to that nagging voice that says, “You don’t know enough. Don’t even try to write until you’ve learned more.” If we wait until we know all there is to know, we’ll never put another word on paper.
  4. We must weigh the information we read. Does it apply to our writing? Is it up-to-date? Does it conflict with more reliable information on the same topic? We must exercise a great deal of wisdom.
  5. There comes a point we must close the book and just write.

Online Courses

The same applies to online writing and writing-related courses. This is why I intend to complete only 6-10 courses this year. And yes, I’ve already purchased far more than 10 writing courses.

Online Communities

When I have attended writers’ conferences in the past, I have been energized to write. I couldn’t wait to get home to do so.

Online writing communities can serve the same purpose. However, they can also distract us from writing.

Choose your writing communities carefully. Join those that encourage you to write and celebrate with you when you get words on the page.

You may want to check out NaNoWriMo, which I “won” for the first time last year, or Camp NaNo, which takes place twice a year, once in April and once in July.

Life

Isn’t this what inspires most of us to write … and yet, it can be one of the things that distract us the most.

Keep track of those seasons, those circumstances, and even those one-liners that inspire you. One day, they may become a blog post or, possibly, a book. I’m still waiting to more thoroughly expand on a friend’s comment when she saw my son wearing oversized army boots. “Hey, boots, where are you taking that boy?”

Guilt

Most of us, myself included, would not consider guilt a great way to overcome writer’s block.

But how about giving one of these prompts a try?

  1. Write an old-fashioned Dear John letter to guilt.
  2. Pen a poem titled, “Guilt.”
  3. Make Guilt a character in a short story.

These are only a handful of the ways to overcome writer’s block, but the only surefire way to do so is to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, or voice to recording device … and write. At first, the words may be awkward. They may need rounds of editing. But soon, you’ll kick writer’s block to the curb.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Steph Beth Nickel is eclectically interested and eclectically involved. She has made far too many excuses about why she isn’t more productive as a writer. Twenty-twenty is the year that changes!

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