Before writing this piece, I decided to check out the country with the highest record of traffic jams worldwide. Needless to say, the result was shocking because the first country was my home country, Nigeria. A part of me wasn’t too surprised, because I knew that my country ought to be in the top ten, because I’ve experienced traffic standstills for hours, and believe me, they are the worst🤦.
What am I saying?
In creative writing, we go through traffic jams that we don’t see coming and that can be overwhelming for us, and the worst part is that a writer’s traffic jam may vary from another, and this can be difficult to handle. Most motivational speeches that I have heard will tell you that a writer is to sit and strive through the hiccups, but let’s be real and honest… its easier said than done and the worst part for me is sitting in front of my laptop, helpless. So how do we fight against it when it rears its ugly head or, do we simply fold our arms and let it rob us of our creative minds of great ideas?
Let’s find out
We start with the big question first, what is writer’s block?
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, writer’s block is a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.
Some experts believe that writer’s block is a psychological issue which means that it is real, but writers have argued for the opinion that it is real and can happen to anyone. In my journey as a writer, I have experienced writer’s block and it is a real issue. I tried to look for a cure but there were some things I discovered and realized which may differ from writer to writer, overall, in digging more into the subject there are some general symptoms that are common and cures that can combat this issue.
SYMPTOM: No idea?
There are times when you are staring into your notes or laptop with no words to write. In your mind, you have words that are ringing loud in your mind but the big problem is putting them together.
Here comes the worst part,
You see a notification on your phone and if you are like me, you quickly check it out and more suggestions come instantly you are distracted, and when your mind goes back to your write-up, you beat yourself for failing to meet up the target of the day (I’m guilty of that too😁)
CURE: Be Patient.
“Amazing ideas come to those who wait”. “Patience is a virtue”.
As a writer, and also a human being, one of the most important tools to be good or great in life and writing is patience. The world today we live in is trying to erase anything that requires patience and this is not a good side to be on. Patience is an important tool in curing writer’s block. A writing professor once said “if you are patient, the world will gift you with ideas”
So how do I implement being patient in writing?
Glad you asked…
Give yourself time, pace yourself, and don’t be in a hurry to write what you feel isn’t your best. And if you think you have a deadline that needs to be done like tomorrow, read books that are specific to your write-up, if you have past write-ups that you have done in time past, now is the time to visit them. Don’t rush through reading them, take your time to read them and ideas will come.
SYMPTOM: MR/MISS/MRS PERFECTIONISTS
We all say that we are not perfect and we are striving to be better people, but the question is do we really believe these words for ourselves or do we just say them with no meaning attached?
In our journey as writers, one thing that has to be ingrained in our creative minds is that we are not creative perfectionists. There is a need for excellence and getting things right but it should not be at the expense of being perfect. However, perfectionism can serve as a shield to block writers from criticism and failure, which is the wrong path to take.
CURE: Be Your Confident Self
What do you have to lose?
A popular pop-music artiste wrote a song about confidence and the lyrics reads, “What's wrong with being confident?”
In addition, we need to remind we are striving for progress and that it is not the final draft but the first one, which will ease the tensions off our backs giving us time to breathe and allow our creativity to flow seamlessly. Allow yourself to make errors, it will help you in your next write-up.
“Distraction is the enemy of focus”
We live in a culture where changes are evolving each day and this is a good thing, but it is said, “to everything good, there is a bad side”, social media which is evolving is an amazing tool for networking and researching but on the flip side, it comes with its baggage- distractions which given a second, can devour an hour or even a whole day thereby resulting in writer’s block.
So, do we remove distractions and focus?
CURE: Do Not Disturb!!!
Try to create a distraction-free environment, where you can able to write or do something creative that will aid you creatively. If it boils down to going offline to avoid any notification, be disciplined about it, like it is said, without discipline, success is impossible. So, turn off all distractions and stay focused!!💪
In the end, the one important thing you can do to push through your writer’s block is nothing more than WRITE and use the cures to help you creatively and before you know it, it will be a masterpiece worth showing forth to the world…