3 Rules To Follow If You Want To Get Over Writer’s Block
Some people would say that writer’s block is exclusively for those essayists or writers out there, that if you’re not writing a 10,000+ word piece, you don’t have writer’s block, you’re just a procrastinating lazy ass who doesn’t deserve to live. This is a lie and that is why I’m writing an instructional guide for anyone writing a card, a piece, a love note, or whatever.
The first rule of getting over writer’s block is to write about writer’s block. The idea is to force yourself to write about anything and everything until something sticks and makes sense. The moment you’re able to make a deep habitual connection from brain to hand to keyboard or brain to pen to paper is when you’ll be able to write without any sort of hesitation.
Now, it may seem unproductive to write nonsense like, “What am I writing about? I need to write? What AM I DOING!?!?”
Calm down. As long as you don’t dilly dally and gallivant by typing or scribbling something along the lines of “oidsfoishdfosdihfUHFisuhdf,” you are being productive; enjoy this sense of free flow writing.
The second rule is to completely stop thinking all together. The many reasons why we’re unable to think of a subject to write about is because we overanalyze a topic to see if it is shareable to the ones reading the piece. Stop thinking if your mother is going to cry, if your post is going to get 50 likes on Facebook, or if your lover decides to live with you after he or she reads your words of adulation.
Stop thinking about affirmations; instead, think about moving your fingertips to make words. For example, I’m writing words right now, do I have an idea where this post will lead me? Absolutely not. All I know is that I’m writing and it feels so good.
The third rule is to NOT erase anything or stop while you write. Have it in your mind that even if Jesus himself appeared and asked you to stop writing, don’t stop, just keep writing. You can talk to him when you’re done. Right now you’re on a roll and nothing is going to halt your process.
This may seem odd to people and might get a few criticisms like “You’re not going to even stop for God?!?” Exactly, you shouldn’t care nor should you be apologetic for this mindset slash behavior, which is a great transition to the fourth rule.
Grammar etiquette should not be considered; this is the fourth rule of getting over writer’s block. A mass production of semicolons, colons, periods, commas, and asyndeton is a worry that should be expunged from your mind. Who cares if a few metaphors or similes don’t make sense? Just write.
It’s like a fox hunting a duck in a crowded city: the fox doesn’t care about the city dwellers watching his every move, he’s on a mission to attack and kill the duck. You are the fox and the paper is the duck. Attack.
The fifth rule of getting over writer’s block is to take all you’ve written and start putting it together piece by piece. Start formulating your ideas and realize you’re actually getting somewhere and making some sort of sense that will lead to a nice conclusion to a piece you had no idea where you were going with in the first place.
Should you care how long one sentence can be? No.
Should you care if anything you wrote made sense? No.
Should you care if people don’t care what you’ve written? No.
Should you care if you’re self-deprecating and talking to yourself on paper? No.
The only thing you should care about and should be very proud of is that you’re writing again. It’s a beautiful thing once you’re flow writing again: a combination of letters turn into words which turn to sentences which turns into paragraphs that help trigger a shock to your brain that “writing isn’t so hard after all.”
Now you can take your scribble scrabble aside and start the profound piece you were made to write in the first place. You got this.
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”