Home » ARTICLES » Writers Block

Writers Block

When the muse deserts and all is blank there is nothing to do but pray and await its return. Anonymous.

As writers, we all know how difficult it can be at times to actually sit down and write. Sometimes it seems impossible to carry on. Our words dry up; inspiration deserts us and all we seem able to do is to stare at a blank screen thinking, “That’s it. I’ve lost it, I’ll never write another word. I may as well pack it all in now.”

Writers block is a fact of life that all but the exceptionally lucky will experience at some stage. It can arrive from out of nowhere, or it can creep up slowly, gradually sapping the ideas and inspiration until nothing remains but the sinking emptiness of a bog in winter.

What’s the answer? Well, if you find yourself experiencing a dry patch (because in nine cases out of 10, that’s all it is), the best thing you can do is walk away from your desk or kitchen table – whatever you call your work space – and do something entirely different. Clean the house; take a walk; do the laundry; play tennis; take a holiday. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as it doesn’t involve a pen or a keyboard.

When the desire to get back becomes so strong that you can no longer ignore it, depending on whether you feel you are determined to plunge back in, ready or not, or gently ease your way to inspiration, take yourself back and allow nature to take its course.

If you are of the `plunge’ mentality you will probably write madly for an hour until things start to make sense (which they inevitably will). Those `gently easing’ their way in may look for other ways less dramatic but, nevertheless, ones that will return them to the place they want and need to be. If you have read my article, `A Ditty a Day,’ you may find this method useful.

Different strokes for different folks

Some will probably find methods like `A Ditty a Day’ a frivolous waste of their time but I know it has been helpful to some. Look for what works for you. Experienced writers are adept at finding new ways to `slide back in under the radar’ but what works for one may turn out to be a totally frustrating exercise for another. The main thing is to stay focused and hold on to that faith in yourself and your ability to write things people are going to want to read. Unless, of course, you are simply writing for your own pleasure and that too is an important goal.

Whatever your reason for writing, a period of drought is not the end of the world and, unless you are a one-book-wonder, there will be many tales to be told in your future.

Writers love to pass on their knowledge, particularly to those who are struggling to make their dream work. So read a lot, learn what you can from what others have to offer, and continue to believe in your dream of becoming, or continuing to be, a writer.

P.S. If you have a question, are struggling as a writer, and need another writer’s perspective, don’t hesitate to ask. You can email me at: busypen@live.com

Happy musings. Amelie

Leave a Reply