How to Overcome Writer’s Block Easily
Rewriting is a lot easier than writing because you have a problem to solve.
~ Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter
Many people blame writer’s block for their lack of productivity. But delve deeper and the chances are you’ll find other culprits, including perfectionism, “blank page syndrome,” stress, or lack of devotion. But there’s also a simpler cause and one that is easy to solve, trying to write with both sides of the brain.
“To be more productive, you need to learn how to write faster,” says Mary Jaksch, Chief Editor of Write to Done. “The key point is to separate the actions of creation and editing.”
This means allowing yourself to write terrible, horrid, amateur first drafts! Perfectionism will keep you poor.
“When you try to write your first draft well, you are creating and editing at the same time (activities which activate different areas of the brain). This is like being in a car and stepping on the accelerator and the brake at the same time. You won’t get anywhere fast!” says Jaksch.
Julia Cameron shares how she approaches first drafts in her book The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life. “Early in my writing life, I tried to polish as I went…. Writing this way was frustrating, difficult and disheartening…I learned to write, setting judgment aside and save the polish for later…
“For the first time, I gave myself emotional permission to do rough drafts and for those rough drafts to be, well, rough. Freed to be rough, my writing actually became smoother. Freed from the demand that it be instantly brilliant, perfect and clever, my writing became not only smoother but also easier and more clear.”
Many successful authors, including Julia Cameron, say it’s important to get out of your own way, to be a channel, or medium, for the stories which want to be told.
Show up! Show up! And soon the muse will show up too,” says Isabel Allende, author of The House of Spirits.
“What writing is,” announces Stephen King in the same-named chapter of his memoir, On Writing, “Telepathy, of course. It’s amusing when you stop to think about it—people have argued about whether or not such a thing exists, folks like J.B.Rhine have busted their brains trying to create a testing process to isolate it, and all the time it’s been right there, lying out in the open like Mr. Poe’s purloined letter. All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing offers the purest distillation.”
Here are just a few simple ways to tap into your writing genius, get your creative juices flowing and love your first drafts more:
• Tap into your subconscious mind and write freely—write non-stop for three minutes. It doesn’t matter what you write, just don’t stop for three minutes! You may be surprised at the clarity and depth of ideas that flourish unhindered.
• Do a da Vinci and carry a notebook with you at all times to capture ideas, doodle in, collect snippets of dialog or jot down compelling descriptions around you, and use it to improve your craft and your daily writing practice. Or you may prefer to use a digital notebook or app like Evernote.
• Collaborate with other authors and do a sprint, or sign up for an organized event like Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month, in November, to write your book fast (http://nanowrimo.org). This is a month-long program that encourages writers of all ages to stop thinking about writing and just get it done.
• Affirm, “Done is better than perfect,” and remind yourself getting words on the page frees you up for the easier task of shaping them into something coherent. You can’t edit a blank page.
• Create your own sacred “receiving” place and channel your story.
• Write by hand and use technology to input your words later.
• Read the following chapters—particularly “Fifteen Minute Sprints” which follows.
Mining for Gold
How can you give yourself permission to write imperfectly?
Schedule separate time for right brain and left brain writing tasks.
This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book Two: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More) by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/ProductivityHacksDoLessMakeMore
Do less and earn more today!
Although this book was written for writers, the principles and strategies can be embraced by business entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, and thousands of others around the world who want to enhance their productivity, do less and make more.
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Tags: Being an Authorpreneur, creativity, nanowrimo, self-doubt, writers block