Writer’s Block: The Bain of My Existence

The wonderful thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting.
The terrifying thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting.

J.K. Rowling

Writer’s block is a real thing. I’ve experienced it and it’s dreadful. It’s when you feel dried up – you have no ideas and you’re completely stuck. An empty page is staring at you and the feeling of dread creeps up when you realise you have nothing to put there. It’s difficult to not get annoyed at yourself – you feel frustrated and upset when you can’t put words to paper. What I find, is that my writer’s blocks are caused from overworking. I’m a big perfectionist so I will spend hours behind my computer – and sometimes my brain just can’t handle that.

Often, if I’m stuck, I get away from my desk. I go for a walk, exercise or take a bubble bath with some wine. It does no good to stare at an empty page that isn’t magically filling with words. If I can’t just write, I get away from the problem. I create a space where my mind can be emptied of the stress and can be creative again. If I’m too caught up in my stress and overloading my brain, I can’t function. Humans need time away from the screen, time to relax, and taking that time often revitalises my mind and I’m back in action.

Sometimes, I need more the relaxation. You see, inspiration is all around us. There are always interesting conversations and events happening in the world. You need to live and experience them in order to write effectively. If you don’t have any experiences to draw from, how will your writing be believable?

I don’t believe in writer’s block. If I can’t write, I go out and live. Then, if I’m a writer, I’ll find something to write.

Peter Arpesella

I will get out of the house if I’m in a big stump. I’ll go out with friends or go get a coffee at the beach or go to the movies. Sometimes, the simplest things can give you such inspiration and you’ll be able to write so much. Recently, I just went to a coffee shop, sat down and listened to the conversations around me. I listened to how people talk, what mannerisms they use and what different generations converse about. It’s essential to create believable dialogue in novels and listening to conversations around you really helps.

One of the biggest lessons I learnt in my Creative Writing degree was to draw inspiration from everyday life. Average things can be used in writing and the simple conversation are often the same conversations your characters will have. Amazing stuff can happen around you, things you didn’t think plausible, and these can be used within your writing. When you’re in a stump, going out and just experience life is often one of the best things you can do. Jot down conversations you hear, things you hear and mannerisms you notice people using. All of these can be used in to create new content for your writing. Some of my character’s conversations were drawn from real-life conversations I overheard while I was in a block. Some events that happen were legitimately real instances that I witnessed, albeit adapted to suit the setting my book is in. I just keep my mind open and my senses on alert and just start writing. Even if its stupid or garbage, I just write.

You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.

John Rogers

Just write whatever comes to mind and whatever you can. It’s better to get something down than to stare at a blank page. It can be utter trash, and often the things I write in these instances are, but you’ll find gems in there. You mind will create usable writing and you’ll be able to go through and edit whatever rubbish you’ve written down. Inspiration will come as you write – sometimes I have no ideas in my mind but as I just write, I start to get new ideas or solve an issue I was having in a plot point. A writer will always write, and it’s essential to just keep writing. If I gave up, I would cease to be a writer. I’d cease to be an author. But, I am an author and I keep on writing and power through the blocks because that’s what I need to do. I find that focusing on the block or feeling sorry for myself does nothing to help. I need to focus and start writing whatever comes to mind.

The most important thing to do when you have writer’s block is to not beat yourself up about it. It’s not uncommon, and if you start cursing yourself you’ll fall into a rut. There is no point getting angry or upset when you have a block, just take a break and give yourself some time to regenerate before trying again. Inspiration will come, it always does for writers. Just don’t give up!

Do you have any tips or tricks for dealing with writer’s block?

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