Using the concept of “writer’s block” as an escape route, many writers avoid work. Read further to learn how to get over this myth.
Writer’s block is a myth, period. You can come up with multiple arguments so as to convince yourself otherwise, but in the end, it is all just a defence mechanism. Think of it as an excuse to not write and to not push your brain further when it experiences the slightest amount of exhaustion. When you say you’re experiencing a “writer’s block”, you’re simply giving yourself an easy ticket to procrastinate, protecting yourself from the anxiety of not being able to write well.
It’s like the concept of inertia- a body will remain at rest until an external force acts on it. You keep waiting for your external force, what you call your inspiration, until all your deadlines pass, and you are still left with a blank page. You blame your “writer’s block” for this but again, you are just living in denial. Does a doctor ever refuse to treat a patient because (s)he’s experiencing a doctor’s block?
I like to think of “writer’s block” as simply a “fear of failure”. Very often, writers avoid writing because they are worried that they may not be able to articulate their ideas as well as they wish to. Or maybe they are just afraid that they may not have an idea at all.
Well, I believe that it is not possible for your brain to entirely run out of ideas. It is not necessary that you will have a good idea, but you will always have at least something. That something can be the worst idea in the century, and it may not make any sense either. But I think that something is always good enough to start writing with.
This brings me to my next point- just start writing. It is genuinely as simple as it sounds. Penning down a bunch of bad ideas will eventually give rise to something worthwhile. But you will never get anywhere if you do not start at all. Just pour your heart on your paper or screen and see what you get. If it is not good enough, you modify it and make it better, but you do not hide behind excuses.
Writing is hard, and that is a fact, there is no escape from it. But that is what distinguishes a professional writer from other casual writers. You write no matter what, you push yourself and you do your job. Some of the major causes leading to the so-called “writer’s block” include the presence of distractions. You need to get rid of them and focus on your work. Lack of confidence, as I mentioned earlier, too may lead to such blockage.
Remember, no one can judge your work unless you show it to them. So, allow yourself to write pages and pages of garbage until you finally get something presentable. Give yourself targets and deadlines but also, award yourself for meeting these deadlines. Believe me, it is all in your head- both fears and ideas. And it is also up to you if you wish to work on them.
Featured Image Credits: Aditi Gutgutia for DU Beat