Overcoming Writer's Block by Janée J. Baugher

Do you have difficulty getting started writing?  Perhaps you suffer from writer’s block.  But, as with most maladies, there is a cure. 

First off, figure out what’s got you blocked.  You’re bereft of ideas?  You’re feeling fearful?  You’re experiencing perfectionism paralysis?  Next, figure out what things you can do to combat your blockage.  For example, have you tried the Surrealist’s automatism techniques?  Have you tried focusing on process (rather than product) and simply writing as if no one is reading? 

Have you tried writing with exceedingly low expectations?  Author Julia Cameron of the book, The Artist’s Way says, “It’s not the writer’s job to think the thing up but to put it down.”  In other words, if you’re welcoming your thoughts into your writing process (i.e. the act of turning a blank sheet of paper into a page of words), you’re suffocating your writing before it can take its first breath.  You might be asking, “how can I write without my thoughts?”  Writing without conscious intent is the work of creative writers.  Going to the page without a notion of where our words will take us is how literary arts “write in the spirit of discovery.”  Read Peter Elbow’s essay “Freewriting” as an instructional guide about how to simply delight in the word journey.

As with anything that one aims to master, this process takes great practice.  However, if your writer’s block is truly just a matter of not having ample time.  Read my article in Fiction Southeast on how to capture just enough time each day to make the words count.

Now, get to it!  Write on!