Fact or Fiction:
Some writers do not believe in writer’s block. However, for me, writer’s block is not a myth or a fragment of my imagination. What I found most useful was discovering why I was being blocked and what I could do to stop the loop once it started.
Sometimes it felt like the blinking cursor was laughing at me or testing me by consistently blinking at me. Minutes go by and I finally get bored and move on.
Besides the fact that I get easily distracted. The PC game I am hooked on calls to me and I enter the battleground. And I stay there for about three hours. Death on the field does not stop me from playing. I wish that was the same for writing.
Then I will turn on my favorite show and play a puzzle or two or a card game on my tablet. Once my eyes blur from staring at a bright screen, I switch it up to coloring in my adult coloring book and that will keep me busy for a couple of hours.
By the time I glance at the clock, the whole day has gone by and I have accomplished nothing but a colored page in my coloring book, a couple losses and wins of cards, and a few victories and deaths on the battlefield of my favorite PC game.
How in the world did I accomplish the completion of two novels?
Through trial and error, I discovered what worked for me and what did not work for me.
What Did NOT Work For Me
Coffee shop or the library. A coffee shop was too loud, too distracting, and if there was a cute guy there, all I did was stare at him instead of my blinking cursor. He was more appealing to look at.
The library was so quiet I spent the day looking around for a distraction. The silence gave me the time and opportunity for my mind to travel somewhere else. Usually I landed in the twilight zone, which ended up being extremely unproductive.
Afternoons–I do not understand, but around 2 or 2:30 pm, I completely shut down and I have to take a nap.
Music-especially music with words. I like to sing and that is all I do when a song I like is playing.
Turning off the internet–shutting me off from the world causes anxiety. I need to be able to search whether it’s for a product or for research on my novel.
Running errands–shopping in a store makes me tired. I have a lot of anxiety shopping inside a store, so by the time I get home from running around; I am too exhausted to do anything else.
Taking a walk–makes me tired and then I do not have the energy to sit and work. Writing requires a lot of brain work.
What Worked For Me
Finding the time of day when I am most alert and productive was helpful. It turned out to be early morning and late at night.
Coffee–tons of coffee, making a cup first thing every morning is required.
I am easily distracted and a huge procrastinator, so if I stop and do something else that I hate, I will sit back down and get back to work. For example, I hate housework. I will do anything but housework.
Having an organized desk. If my desk is messy and I can’t find anything, all I do is think about cleaning it. So, if I make sure it is clean, I don’t constantly think about it.
Setting a time limit on my games. If my favorite game calls to me, I set an alarm to stop playing.
Music from a soundtrack, no words.
Taking a shower–sounds weird, but some of my best ideas come from the healing power of hot water.
What works for me may not work for you, so it is important to find what does work so you can have a productive day. Writer’s Digest, one of my favorite magazines, has some advice on writer’s block. Here is an article with creative and weird ideas that you might want to try out. 9 Weird Ways to Beat Writer’s Block – Writer’s Digest (writersdigest.com)