Every writer knows what I’m talking about. We’ve all struggled with it at one time or another.
There are some commonly accepted “reasons” for writer’s block.
- Maybe it’s not the right time. Many writers believe they need to be in the right creative headspace, or that their muse has to be present, or the timing is just off for a million other reasons.
- There’s also the fear of putting our work (and ourselves) out there – exposing our thoughts and mind wanderings for the whole world to see.
- Most writers also have a bit of perfectionist in them. It all has to be exactly right in our heads before we even put our fingers to the keyboard.
These are all valid excuses not to write.
If you want to be a writer and/or finish that novel, essay, blog post, etc., it is absolutely imperative that you stop thinking about all of the above.
Sure, that’s easier said than done, but stick with me.
In our culture, most of us have been trained to have an employee mindset. We go to work, put the hours in day after day and eventually get paid a set amount based on those hours. Society puts huge importance on those hours that are spent “working.”
Even if you work from home, run your own business, or set your own hours in some way, most of us tend to fall back on this same thinking. More hours = more productivity.
This is simply not true.
Productivity is ONLY measured by what you produce (actual words and content, or whatever you are completing), NOT by how long something takes.
It’s all about the output. The Result.
With this in mind, if a writer wants to be more productive, they must shift from a mindset of “putting hours in” to a mindset of “producing results” – i.e. getting words on the page.
How does this relate to writer’s block? It’s simple. If we can create momentum, a flow of words, that momentum carries us to the next word, the next page, and so on.
And I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite tools to do just that.
This is my #1 tool for killing writer’s block.
If you don’t have to stop and wonder what’s going to happen next, all your excuses disappear.
I am a huge believer in knowing EXACTLY where I am going at all times in every book I write, so much so that I created my entire signature course around this concept. I have a very good idea of what is going to be on every page of my novel before I even start writing a word.
I get it. Writing is supposed to be about creativity and flow and spontaneity. And if you like to write like that, it’s totally up to you. Just expect your production to be very low.
When you rely on your brain to conjure up inspiration, it will always attempt to seek comfort and pleasure first (Internet surfing, TV, snacks, even cleaning – basically anything else it can think of to avoid the “hard” work).
The work will take as long as you give yourself to get it done.
If you give yourself a year to write a novel, it will take you a year. If you give yourself two months to write a novel, it will take you two months.
This sounds deceptively simple, but I have found it to be absolutely true. I give myself constant deadlines, not only to complete a book or project but for each step along the way – a week to plot. A week to develop characters. A week to map out the book, etc.
Even further, I give myself micro-deadlines as I go. Check out my FREE 7-Minute Miracle Writing System mini-course here if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself. You’ve already got all the skills and time you need to write your novel (or anything else you need to write), and this course will prove it to you.
Once you have everything planned out, it’s time to seriously go for it.
In my mind, this is where the magic of writing happens. Because you know exactly what’s going to happen, and what you want to accomplish, your creativity is now free to focus on the details of the story.
You won’t believe how much richer your settings, characterization, the mood of the scene, etc. will be so much because of these details.
The other thing that feels like magic is the way momentum starts to take hold. When you’re focused and producing results (words and pages), you are actually creating this momentum, which leads to more motivation to keep going.
Your writing suddenly becomes more enjoyable because you are focused – you aren’t busy indulging in stress, worry, or second-guessing. The result is simply achieved. Words get written.
This goes hand in hand with that sneaky little perfectionist voice that just loves to hang around.
If you stop to edit, that motivation train you had chugging away comes to an ear-shattering squeal of a stop.
Do not try to make it perfect on your first draft. There will be time to make it better later. You’ve probably heard it before because it’s true.
You can’t edit a blank page.
So often, we have a tendency to try to make writing harder than it is. Maybe we even want to believe it’s supposed to take longer than it does. But you don’t have to believe that anymore. With these mindset shifts and the additional techniques above, your words could soon be flowing faster than you ever imagined.
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