Writer’s block, everyone gets it. For a college student, it’s the blank page, and being unable to start a research paper. For writer, it is much more complicated. For me writers block comes in three forms. The first is unable to think of anything to write. The second, is able to think of what to write, but unable to put it into words. The third, you think of too many topics that you can’t focus on one. All of these result in the same thing, you can’t write, and for a writer you can’t live.
I spoke of three types of writer’s block, and while there are more, I’m going to focus on what I have listed. I’m doing that because I have encountered those three more than most of the others. Most of the others just have something to do with silencing your inner critic. To the people who are afraid that their idea is boring, or won’t be liked, remember Game of Thrones is called boring, and every book you have ever heard of has people who don’t like it. You can’t control everyone, you can’t write for everyone. So write for you. Write your passion, and it will show through. Now onto the three I have chosen.
January of every year, I can’t focus. No ideas are coming, and I’m staring at a blank page. For me frustration builds, and I start taking off hand remarks as personal attacks. For me this is becoming normal for every January. How do I deal with it? I read nonfiction, and wonder the possibilities. I did this to write a story, that I needed to have under a thousand words. Before I came up with the story, I was reading about the presidential election. I was looking into third party options and read an article about John Mcafee. He wrote an article about cyber security how we compared to China. He didn’t paint a very pleasurable picture. When I looked farther into cyber security I read another article about two hackers getting into someone’s car and turning it off. After I thought and put the two together. It wasn’t easy, but the block was cleared, and I wrote the fiction. That story became Crash, a fiction piece that I put up a few weeks ago. It was about a man driving on the highway when he loses control of his car and that causes a massive crash on the highway. I wouldn’t have been able to write that story without the true things to inspire it.
The blank page, as writers we all hate it. For me I’m always scared that whatever I write won’t grab the audience. I write one thing, then erase, and then repeat a hundred times. My current novel I thought was running long on its first draft so I made a post in a writing forum about it. I was told that during your first draft it’s more important to get the ideas down than to get everything pretty. Grammar doesn’t matter. Style doesn’t matter. I asked if I should have just “shut up and write,” I was told to shut up and write. To get passed this type of writer’s block I advocate before starting, write an outline. What are the larger events of the book? When do you want them to happen? How does the book end? These all will help deal with large issues in the book and I can almost guarantee that you won’t get lost half way through your book.
To many ideas? I always hated it when ideas start hit me all at once. I started writing when I was young, but never really tried completing anything until college. I started because I had to. I would have to write a paper for a class, but all I could think about is a character I was developing. I did research into it, and found that if I wrote about that character I would stop focusing on him as much. I could focus on my classes. It worked, I stopped thinking about them every second and started being able to focus on other things. So that is my advice. You can’t focus on an idea so focus on all of them. Now don’t do it permanently, just write the scenes you are thinking about at that moment. Put them away to find them later. Take a day or a week and clear your mind. We all have to do it sometimes.
Writer’s block is something all writers have to deal with. Stephen King gave twenty tips to writers. In one he said, “You have three months to write your first draft.” I think that makes sense, any more time and start to doubt yourself. He didn’t say it had to be good in three months. He didn’t say it had to be the final version in three months. He said the first draft had to be done. So write. No one will ever know that story better than you will, and at the end, you’re the only one that needs to like it.