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Writer's Block - (That frustrating encounter with an empty page and a blank mind to go with it)

This phenomena has been researched and documented severally in the past, I would think that Writer’s block essentially is a state of mind caused by the author. In more cases than one the condition has been self inflicted.

The major reasons listed being:

1. Self critic – You sensor your thoughts before you even start writing, you are attempting to edit too much of you work as you write

2. Stressed out/anxious – You are putting too much emphasis on the deadline; your eagerness to finish is stressing you out instead of psyching you up.

3. Bored – You don’t like what you are writing, it does not capture you mind and emotions like you expected.

4. Plain old tired – You are overworking and exerting too much pressure on yourself, you have stayed up late thinking of what you will write only for morning to come and you haven’t figured it out yet.

5. Laziness and lack of discipline – You have no routine or have one that you never stick to it, you plan on-end, tell people that you are researching but you never get yourself to the actual writing.

The list could go on and on and vary depending on our environments and personalities, none the less I will highlight some of the suggestions that have been put across to try and counter, heal, overcome or whatever you want to call it – getting back to writing again.

 

1. Exercise

Exercise just like the medics have always advised us is good for our health. Go out there and take a walk, hit the gym or involve yourself in some activity that get your blood pumping, this enhances you mind’s responsiveness. A good level of oxygen in your brains is a good stimulus for creativeness.

2. Outline it

Writing like any other chore in any other profession needs preliminary work, the most basic being brainstorming. Outline your topics, themes, sections, anything that comes up to your mind and these can easily be turned into a draft to kick start you writing.

3. Get Started

Getup from the TV and start writing, unplug the internet and start writing (write anything), just get started and stop procrastinating. Procrastination is the biggest enemy to writing, we all know how hard it is to conquer that first paragraph but postponing it just makes it bad and using flimsy distractions like the internet as an excuse is even worse. You Facebook likes will still be there when you get back online and use the phone if it’s an emergency otherwise stay disconnected from the internet- if you have done enough preliminary (which you should) you don’t need that Wi-Fi. Let me tell you a secret. (Whisper) “The secret to getting started is getting started” Mark Twain himself said it.

4. Establish a routine

Set out a timeline for you work, put down targets that you must accomplish everyday for example –writing 750 words per day and stick to it. That kind of discipline trains your mind to be productive.

5. Talk about it  

Talk about what you want to write with friends, a tutor or anyone willing to listen and discuss, talking is more spontaneous and will help to ease out the tension or anxiety. Let your listener ask guiding questions that will stimulate you mind around what you want to write.

6. Get some rest

Sleep for heaven’s sake, don’t late the damn blank page humiliate you. Get some rest you need and you need it most now that you brain is clogged. To get your brain working and churning those creative juices you have to let it rest and reset. 7 hours night sleep is usually the recommended minimum but quick naps when you are really stuck on the words will do a mild reset on your brain and get you processing again.

7. READ READ READ

Last but not least read widely, read deeply, and read some more. Reading will get ideas bubbling inside of you so keep a notebook while at it. Do not restrict yourself to the genre of what you normally write as this would you field of view, having a different perspective of looking at things. Reading helps you to get inspired, listening to music also has same effect.

 ~by K.Orato

©The Orator 2012
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