For many years I struggled with how to overcome writer's block and I attributed my “block” with an overabundant amount of stress I dealt with at the time. Since I overcame that block, I now realize that my stressors should never have been an excuse to stop writing. If you are struggling with getting just a single word down on paper, use these techniques to take the first steps in conquering that great and terrible phantom – writer’s block.
1) Use self-affirming statements.
Every morning I woke up and I took out a sheet of paper out of my notebook. I wrote out the statement, “I am a talented writer and I have the creative energy to write my story.” I wrote it out ten times and I would go on about my day. Sometimes that was all I had energy to complete. But you know what happened? It got inside my head and soon I began to believe myself. If you are struggling with confidence and believing in your creative talent, the first person you want to convince of that talent is yourself. Start telling yourself you are talented and you will begin to believe it.
2) Limit your writing time.
When I was out of work and looking for a job, I thought about using my time to write. Yet, somehow that epic amount of time stretching out before me just intimidated me into never writing down a word. So, instead, I decided to limit the amount of time I spent on writing. I decided that from 9:30 to 10:30 I would write. Or on more difficult days, I told myself to just write 500 words. Or just get down a sentence or two. After that, I could do whatever I wanted. To me, this eased the stress and I could let go of the guilt of not writing throughout the day. Give yourself a limit with writing and start out small. When you reach the small goals, it makes the bigger goals (like writing that novel) a little easier to handle.
3) Find a writing community (either online or off line).
Since I can remember I have considered myself a writer and although I haven’t been published yet, just the idea of associating with my fellow writer kind has been inspirational. It wasn’t difficult for me to find online writing communities, but finding just the right one that gives just the right support was the bigger task. I have been part of several, but the most important part is that I have been part of them. Part of growing as a writer has a lot do with identifying yourself as writer. If under your breath you say, “Oh heck, I’m no writer” than you are taking many steps back. Join a writing community and call yourself a writer. The feedback and support in these writing communities can be necessary to overcoming writer’s block. You must identify yourself as a writer, because that is the first step to getting those words down on paper.
Writer’s block may seem like a huge mountain to climb, but take it from someone that has been there before that it is possible to overcome it. It may not be easy and it may take you much longer than you would like, but you can do it and you can overcome writer's block.