Dealing With Writer's Block and How to Solve It

You know that old saying, "You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole?" Well lets just take that a step further and say, you can’t fit a block into a circle. One more step, YOU CAN’T FIT WRITERS BLOCK INTO THE CIRCLE OF LIFE. As obnoxious as that example might seem, I think we can all agree that writer’s block is a real thing, and altogether a real pain in the ass. 

Even on Reddit people are struggling with the issue of writer’s block. My favorite example being the anonymous account that posted: “LPT Request: How to overcome writer’s block when you have a short term deadline.” However, it wasn’t the request that made me laugh, but the stereotypical Reddit/Tumblr response that shortly followed—“Adderall… no um don’t do drugs… Green tea and meditation.” *Note to self: Don’t take drugs to solve writer’s block. Instead, although the responder was trying to be funny, I actually think Green tea and meditation might help! My form of meditation might be a solid half hour nap, but to others it could be going for a run; whatever floats your goat… or boat. 

The funny thing about writer’s block is that people who don’t consider themselves “writers” always struggle with what to write, and how to write it. What they don’t consider is that those of us who are gifted in the art of writing, might struggle with the same thing from time to time. Whether it be papers, essays, articles, novels, blog entries, poetry, etc. writer’s block hits everyone. The most frustrating part being that, that “time to time” issue I mentioned, is not limited to a brief rarity. Writer’s block can come when you least expect it, last for longer than you would like, and always seems to be in the way when there is a deadline to meet. 

As a writer myself, I have started a few things that I would love to get published before I graduate college. Unfortunately, my brain is so dedicated to papers, essays, and weekly articles, that I hardly have time to write in my personal blog or journal, let alone work on what I hope will be the next Harry Potter. Throughout the day, I will take notes or think of random twists and character names I would like to add to the plot of my story, but when it comes down to actually writing it, my fingers are more frozen than Elsa’s castle. Speaking of Elsa, as she grew up she constantly told herself “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let it show,” but once she finally “let it go,” she was free. Lets look at writer’s block in the same way. If we are constantly worried about how our audience will react, holding back how we really feel about a subject, or just screwing up, we are only making our situation worse. The best way to go about facing writer’s block, especially on a deadline, is to simply let it go. 

Write what is on your mind; peer reviews and edits are good to make sure what you wrote is professional or appropriate for the situation, but the only way to write something when you don’t know what to say or how to say it, is just to do it. The rest will fall in to place after that. Most of the time, when I don’t know how to start, I just repeat my question in the format of a statement, or I define the words that stick out to me the most. Once I have started writing something—words flow more easily from there. 

-M