The Writer’s Block

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It is a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece of writing.

It is a kind of temporary psychological condition in which a writer is unable to proceed with his craft of writing.

Some of the reasons for writer’s block are as follows,

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1. Perfectionism

In the early days of my writing experiences, I always wanted to be perfect. What others may think about my writing? I must write flawless and without any mistakes, otherwise, readers may skip my writing. My ego was always catching me by my neck. But once I wrote my book ‘Version One is Better Than Version None”, I realized that “perfectionist fall prey to schizophrenia!”

While learning the violin, the stupid blind instrument, I did not record my playing and hesitated to record and send it to my mentor. I thought that every tune should be perfect and that only I can send it to my mentor. But after recording a video of my silly performance, I wanted to listen to it, I was surprised. I thought it must be played by somebody else. Sometimes your own experiences are amazing. When first time my vocal performance was recorded by All India Radio and released on next day, I could not believe that it was my voice. Slowly I started liking my voice. In the same way, now, I started loving my writing.

American novelist Anne Lamott, says,

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.”

When you are in process of daily free writing, several times you push the button called ‘backspace’, this is the culprit which spoils your habit. You know, nowadays, I write with errors, bad typos, and mad ideas and carry on without editing. Oh, what a lovely speed! After all, it is a rough draft. It is going to be edited and rechecked. Why worry in advance? You know one thing? I edit my stuff when I am at the lowest state of my intellectual state. It is mechanical. I never edit my writing when my mind is fresh. A fresh mind generates a lot of ideas! Why spoil your expert-idea-generating-muscle at the top of your body? When you are writing, you are an exceptional individual and when you are editing you are an ordinary person. Do not mix up. Keep this ordinary person away when you are an extraordinary-individual idea-generating machine.

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2. True Connection With Character

I had heard a story of Drama Played in villages.

When Lord Rama was sent for 14 years of exile, the actor who was playing the role of King Dasharatha collapsed and died on the stage. People thought still ordinary drama but the actor lost his life as his subconscious mind always believed that he was real Dashrath. Characters sometimes talk to you in such a way that you cannot treat them just like that.

Connections with the characters are very much intimate when you are writing fiction books. Hours together you are constantly engaged with the character and you generate ideas for writing. It is advisable to take a break from characters for a couple of days to generate better content. Give characters the time and you will be amazed by secret conversations.

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3. Forget Your Past Success

Your success story presentation should not be a boring subject. Stop narrating it repeatedly. Find something new to be conquered. If you have won the gold in athletics and competing in the next event may give you under pressure at present. Think that there was no past event of a gold-winning ceremony. Give your best now for the present event. Similarly, think that present book writing is the first book and it will be the best craft. Try again and develop your creativity for a new better version.

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4. Fear Of Failure Or Rejection

The author who has developed blocks feels that the reader may not like the ideas and skip his writing. I developed this kind of block while sending emails to my readers. Some of them unsubscribed from my email or newsletters and I was feeling dejected. But once I saw a mailbox of one of my mentors that 269 people unsubscribed. Then I realized. People may have different choices. Even in vegetable markets, everybody is not selecting ladyfinger even if it is grown on organic farms.

I observed that only 19 to 20% of subscribers opened their emails and read them even if you send top-notch and value-added content to them. Even eminent writers are also not expecting to satisfy every reader.

So, keep on feeding the real stuff and never have a prejudiced attitude. The needy people will always read your books and buy them even if it is not affordable to them. One way to access your reading is by asking for comments or feedback from readers. Some of them may narrate your flaws if any.

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5. Diminished Resilient Power

When you write continuously during the week, some of the activities at home or the office may be hampered. Even you may spoil your health if time is not devoted to exercise. Some of the daily routine fitness, reading, recreation, and family time may increase your immunity and give a booster dose of your motivation. Rest and balance time are very much necessary to retaliate blocks and return to fruitful writing.

Richard Lowe Jr: Powerful Ghost-writer and Bestselling Author have given the following tips to overcome writer’s block.

1. Set a quota — I find that setting a goal, say 5,000 words a day, motivates me to keep the words flowing. For me, it becomes sort of a game: can I meet the quota today despite all the interruptions and other demands on my time?

2. Write every day — Sitting down to write every single day is important for me. Even when I only have an hour to spare due to other plans, I squeeze in the time to write a blog entry, finish that letter to the editor, or reply to a few emails.

3. Time to write — I set aside “writing time” every single day for writing. Other events, if possible, get planned around that time.

4. Handle any data not understood — For me, not understanding is one of the biggest problems causing writer’s block. Google is invaluable for researching, and the online dictionary comes in equally handy. One caution: Wikipedia is notoriously inaccurate. I’ve even gone to the effort to block it from my Google searches.

5. Get up — Every hour or so I get my butt out of the chair and walk around for a few minutes. I check the mail, vacuum, dust, or just look at the bees and wasps buzzing on my deck.

6. Change it up — I always have several writing projects going at the same time. Occasionally, when I am blocked on one project, I switch to another. It’s best to work on a project different. This seems to free up a few brain cells and the words start to flow again.

Conclusion

Writer’s block is problem of every possible writer. There is no strong foundation without hindrances. You become more stronger when there are hurdles on the way. Just keep writing our heart out and you will overcome all the blocks you ever face.

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Krgoswami

Former aircraft engineer IAF, Retired Branch Manager SBI, Psychologist, Best Selling Author & Defence Recruitment Trainer https://academy.krgoswami.com