Writing a blog has many challenges
One of the most difficult to deal with is writer’s block. But what exactly is it and is it a real psychological barrier or just another way for us writers to avoid doing some work?
According to Wikipedia:
“Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand. At the other extreme, some “blocked” writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers” (See full article here)
If you’re suffering from writer’s block right now, at least you can count yourself in illustrious company. According to the grammar resource website at Capital Community College in Hartford CT:
“Some of the greatest writers in literature; Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway were all tormented by momentary lapses in their ability to produce text. Although you wouldn’t think it possible if you’ve ever tried to pick up War and Peace with one hand!” (See full article here)
But knowing that Ernest Hemingway used to stare at a blank sheet of paper suffering from the same despair as you do isn’t much help when your posting deadline is looming. Ernie probably went out and shot an elk instead, but you’re made of sterner stuff.
Cory Eridon from Hubspot knows exactly what it’s like and in her piece How to Get Past the 10 Most Debilitating Sources of Writer’s Block, she lists the 10 most powerful excuses we tell ourselves.
The one that makes me wince, because I’ve used it far too many times myself, is:
Problem #7: I keep getting distracted.
“You don’t need to “turn off” the internet, but do sign out of
social media, instant message clients, and email. The internet is important for research and the occasional break, but the real-time nature of the other tools make distraction too easy.”
Yup, that’s me! Phonecalls, emails, web surfing, someone at the door; what an easy way to waste two hours of valuable writing time! See Cory’s other 9 excuses here and see which ones you recognise.
So just what is it that causes these roadblocks in our heads?
“After more than a decade as a journalist, during which time I’ve also delivered writing training to hundreds of people, I’m convinced there’s only one reason people suffer from writer’s block: they haven’t worked out what they want to say.” (See the whole article here)
She then goes on to give some pithy advice to help you get the creative juices flowing again.
But perhaps my favourite piece of advice comes from Julia Lindsay, in her post on http://ourlittlebooks.com, the online publishing service for aspiring writers.
Among other, very sensible suggestions she advises :
“Change the scenery. If you are inside, go to the park or out on the patio. If you normally work at home go to the coffee shop or library. A change in environment will usually improve your attitude.” (See the whole article here)
I must say like the sound of that. So now I’ve finished this post, I’m off to sit in the park and think about my next post.
I think I deserve it.