I’m never quite sure what I think about writer’s block. Mostly I don’t suffer from it. Sometimes I wonder if that’s because I tend to write what some call the easy stuff. You know, the top of the head, the known, or I do a rant about something that’s bothering me.
I usually don’t write much that requires deep research. Deep thinking, which does happens occasionally do me, seems to happen to me anywhere and everywhere, including, sometimes, at the computer. I never know, however, when or why it will strike. I write with out without it.
It’s not that I don’t take my writing seriously; I do. I think anyone who writes every day or almost every day is a serious writer. But much of what I write is based on my own experience, not on new thinking. (I suspect I’ll work to change that some now that I see it so clearly.)
That said, there definitely days when I think I have nothing to write about.
Some might call this writer’s block. I don’t. Often it happens when I’ve let myself slide into more of a routine than I usually enjoy. Sometimes it happens because I’ve eaten way to many carbs the night before. (Can anyone say ‘pizza’?) It almost always will happen if for some reason I’ve written more than 5,000 or 6,000 words in a day — yes, I can push that many, but it leaves me almost wordless the next day.
As much as I love to consider myself unique, I’d guess that at least some of you, if you look closely, will find the same sorts of habits can get in the way of your writing. If I’m right, that suggests at least a couple of things.
The most important suggestion might be to pay attention to when your writing comes easily and when it doesn’t. What’s going on in the hours or even days before you have trouble writing? My hunch is if you look you’ll find, as I have, at least the hints of some patterns. Once you notice the patterns the solution is to, Stop it! as Bob Newhart’s classic video makes clear.
In my case, changing my routine works, even it’s as simple as getting up an hour earlier or later. So does not eating carbs, or eating way fewer carbs or eating complex carbs instead of simple ones. And I’ve learned not to push myself to write tons in one sitting. My limit seems to be around four hours a day. Oh, and taking naps or a shower often helps as well.
It seems to me that not knowing what to write on any particular occasion is a solvable problem. My experience says I can always find a way to put words on screen or paper, even on those days when I’m sure I can’t!
Write well and often,