Monday, April 11, 2016

Writer's Block?

I bet most writers experience periods in which it's difficult, if not impossible, to write. You know, the dreaded writer's block.

I know I go through it at various times. While I  believe the best way to overcome this peculiar impairment is to write through the problem, there are times that are more difficult than others. 

Life simply gets in the way.

For me, it has to do a lot with focus. When I'm distracted by other forces in life, it makes it much more difficult to sit in front of the keyboard and write. Writing, as with anything I care about, demands my full attention. 

And we all know that writing takes time, whether it's allotting 30 minutes or eight hours a day to a specific project. When I'm pulled from our writing routine to take care of other things -- big or small -- it makes it all that more difficult to get back into a groove.

When I'm working on a novel or other project, I need to write every day until finished. When something interrupts that process for several days, I find it all that more difficult to get back to my writing ways. If only for a day or so, not so much of a problem, but when it's prolonged for a week or longer, I lose my train of thought -- or storyline -- and it's not easy finding my way back. 

Of course, re-reading is the best way to get back on course, and that's what I do. But it takes time. 

I've also discovered that I'm not quite as prolific as I was in my younger days. I think a lot of that has to do with my energy level and other commitments in life. As basic as it sounds, I think writers should try to be physically fit in order to to be mentally focused. Get enough sleep. Physical activity such as walking, jogging, or whatever gets you off your butt. 

I also think it's important to make an assessment of what is truly important in your life and where you want to dedicate the time and energy. 

If you're a writer, it would behoove you to remove or minimize those things. And you might also discover that writing may not rank very high on your list of priorities. Then you have to make some hard decisions about your writing life.

The one thing I do when I've hit that stalemate at the keyboard is to read --  everyday. Another stimulus for me is to socialize with other writers at various events such as book fairs, readings, or simply meeting for coffee.

How do you deal with writer's block?

Until the next time....

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