Witty Writers’ corner
Permit me to begin this with a quote from Charles Bukowski, a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer “Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”
Going through some research, I found out that writer’s block is something that has affected even the greatest writers in history. Just in case you’re experiencing it, do know that it is not so abnormal.
What is writer’s block?
From a little bit of research, I found out that writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce a new work, or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years or getting stuck at a particular stage while writing.
How many of us can relate with this kind of challenge? Like you write and get stuck at a stage or you think of writing something but the expressions are not just coming?
How do we come out of this? We need to first pay attention to some of the little things that contribute to this. So, I will be citing a few things that cause writer’s block before we see the possible solutions.
The first one is timing.
This is very important. As a writer you must know when an idea is ready to be put on paper. You should equally know what time works well for you. Some people tend to think better in the early hours of the day. Some, late at night. Trying to write at a time that doesn’t work well for you can lead to having a writer’s block.
Be sure that you have enough ideas already to begin to write. Personally, at times, I try to play the whole script in my head first before I start writing. So, when I begin to write a work, I already know the end. Your ideas may need to stew a little longer before writing them down.
The second one is fear.
Yeah.. Fear… fear kills the act and art of creativity. Many writers struggle with being afraid, with putting their ideas (and themselves) out there for everyone to see and critique. Some are just scared people won’t appreciate their work. Sadly, fear is a major reason some writers never become writers 🤔🤔. Imagine a soldier who is afraid of pulling the trigger just because he is scared of what the sound might be like 🤔.
As long as the fear of what the work will look like to the audience sets in, the writer becomes distracted and this can block the inspiration to write.
The third is perfectionism.
Of a truth, it is good to like being perfect and writing accurately. Sadly, the thought of being perfect blocks a writer from writing. Most times, you want everything to be just totally right and accurate before you ever put pen to paper or touch the keyboard. You try to get it perfect in your head but never do, so you never begin.
I remember I met a friend who claimed to be a writer and I asked him how long it takes him to write. He said as long as it will take to make it perfect. I gave him a task, it’s been more than two months now and he hasn’t come up with anything.
Perfectionism indeed blocks a writer. Perfectionism makes us feel we need to wait till our best time before we can write because we can’t afford to write something that is not perfect. We keep pushing it and waiting for the perfect time until we forget our writing craft
Permit me to first state here that there might not be a direct formula (like do this and that) because writing is art and not science. So, what we would just give are few helpful steps to take.
1. When you experience writer’s block, one of the quickest way to recover (for me) is to read inspirational quotes. Surf the net and browse on quotes that are in line with what you intend to write. It could put you back on track and bring some fresh ideas.
2. Take a break from writing and spend some time with someone who makes you feel good. Writing deals with the state of the mind. It is possible to get stuck on too much ideas and you don’t even know which one should come before the other. Being around people that make you happy could have a way of melting the numerous ideas into useful pieces.
This has been tested and trusted… I’m still learning to understand the chemistry behind this though. But really, we seem to get enough muse when we are in contact, especially, with our loved ones.
3. Read a book. Not all readers need to be writers but all writers must be readers. Reading other people’s work brings new ideas and enhances your techniques of writing.
4. Eliminate distractions. One of the easiest mistakes you can make as a writer is leaving your data on when you begin to write (except it is needed). You would agree with me that you’ve once found yourself in a situation where you ended up putting your writing on hold just to reply to some messages that kept popping up on your screen while you were writing.
If care is not taken, you may abandon the work completely and enjoy the chats more when you leave your data on while writing. This is just one out of many other distractions. Another one could be sitting before the TV when an interesting show is going on and you want to write correctly? Well, I respect your raw writing talent if you can still concentrate in that kind of situation. 🤝💪
5. Understand the kind of atmosphere that works well for you. There are people who can sit and write even in a market place not minding the noise. Ask them to do the same in a library, they will just sleep off 😃😃😃.
Know the atmosphere that aids your writing ability. If you find it difficult to write in an environment, you might have to consider changing the environment.
6. Pace around and brainstorm. This works for me at times. When I’m out of ideas, I can just begin to pace around, moving up and down while brainstorming and boom, new ideas begin to pace around and be “gisting” with me.
Finally, a writer must learn to develop a sound mind. Two major gate ways to the mind of a writer are his eyes (what he sees or watches) and his ears (what he hears or whom he listens to). All these add to what brings about inspiration to write. The application of it now falls back to how sound the mind of the writer is to process the thoughts correctly.
Don’t hesitate, don’t quit writing and keep being a witty one.
~Olabayo Joshua Awodirepo