Although some writers deny there’s any such thing as ‘writer’s block’, the fact is that all too often writers sit down for a writing session and…nothing.
Sometimes it’s because the muse has fled. Sometimes it’s because the list of Good Ideas just won’t translate into the written sentence.
For a lucky few of us it’s possible to simply walk away and come back later when the muse is being more co-operative – but that doesn’t work in professional writing. Journalists are hit with deadlines that must be met. Publishers contract deadlines to manuscripts for good reason – not least of them because publishing is a commercial business and they have to be able to plan it.
Those doing NaNoWriMo have the same problem. You have four weeks to write 50,000 words. A blank page or computer screen isn’t an option. And every day when you don’t write 1,666 words means on another day you’ll have to write 3332. Or more.
- How to escape the problem? One way is to dislodge the ‘block moment’ without interrupting the ‘writing mood’. Try these quick-fire techniques:
1. Do some housework for about 20 minutes.
2. Go for a brisk walk. Not too long – about 20 minutes again. It’s good exercise, and you can let your mind wander. There’s a pretty good chance that the answer will drift in.
3. Start – anywhere. That’s the beauty of word processors. You can back-fill.
4. Write anything – if you have a word processor, deleting’s easy. So’s re-jigging. A bad first draft is infinitely better than no first draft.
If you want to know more about ways to write – methods and techniques for getting up to speed and writing that book fast – check out my short quick-start manual How to get writing… fast. Available on Kindle.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016