Sometimes it is really difficult to know what to blog about. Sometimes I can sit for ages with the line on the screen blinking at me, waiting for me to begin to write something. And I’ll think, and scratch my head, and come up with…
So I’ll open another tab and Stumble for a while, hoping that maybe I’ll come across something inspirational…. It doesn’t normally help much though.
Writer’s block isn’t exactly new to me. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. And I’ve worked towards it, somewhat.
Not as much as I would like, if I’m honest. I would love to write more. Lately, though, I’ve just not had the time. I’ve been busy with, well, real-life. It’s difficult to justify taking time out to write when I have essays and group work and exam revision. And even when I don’t have those there is extra reading I should do, or laundry to fold, or food to be cooked.
Having to shelve my writing is horrible. And yes, I know, everyone says oh if you really wanted to write you’d make the time. I try, I really do. But I can’t just ignore my university work.
One day, though, I’ll get back to it.
But, my point was… writer’s block. Yes.
I think I can safely say that anyone in the world who has ever had to write anything has probably suffered from writer’s block to at least a small degree. I remember when I was younger and I would sit down to write thank you letters after Christmas or my birthday. I would stare at the paper for a few moments and then turn to my mum and ask her what to write.
Writing as a grown-up doesn’t really leave that option. Mum’s are great at helping with thank-you notes and I’m sure they could offer advice, but writing when you’ve left childhood behind is a bit more… well, independent.
I have two ways of dealing with writer’s block.
The first, and probably better of the two, is just to write something. Anything. Like what I’m doing now. Pick a topic and blather on about it for a while and before you know it there are words on the page and I’m damned if I can remember much about what they say but words are words and that’s progress, right.
You’ll probably end up with a lot of sentences like that last one with this method. It certainly won’t get you quality, unless you are very lucky, but at least it’s a start. Writing is often less daunting once it’s begun.
The other method is less successful but more frequently employed by myself. Give in.
Yes, that’s right. Give in to the writer’s block. I didn’t say it’s a good idea… Although I would argue that in some cases it could be. Sometimes writer’s block may come from simply needing a rest, so giving in is a good thing. Maybe.
In general though, not so good. I think the reason I employ this method so much is I’m something of a procrastinator. I feel like it will be my downfall one day… When I was at school I would leave essays until the day before, spend the whole day doing them, snap at anyone who tried to talk to me, inevitably end up in tears, and come out with a reasonably good grade.
Procrastination worked for me. It wasn’t fun though.
I try to avoid procrastination nowadays. I’m older and (I like to think) wiser, so I try to be a bit more proactive with my learning. And if I must procrastinate I try to make it productive. If I don’t want to do task X, I’ll do the reading for class Y, or email my teacher to ask about Z, or go and fold the washing…
Procrastinate if you must, but be clever about it.
That’s probably as good a place as any to stop. Early morning tomorrow and lots of work to
Have you suffered from writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
Are you, like me, a chronic procrastinator? If so, how do you deal with it?