A blank page, how to get over writer’s block

I think there are as many writers as there are people in the world; each has their own opinions as to how to write. Some suggest having office hours and being strict, while others prefer a more relaxed approach and they let inspiration hit whenever it does.

Being something so personal and unique, there are no rights or wrongs, it’s only a matter of finding the way that best fits the writer.

Getting writer’s block is normal, it isn’t anyone’s enemy and in fact could be considered an opportunity.

Luckily, I’m not lacking in the ideas department (knock on wood) and what I am missing is time to write everything that pops into my mind. But that doesn’t mean that during the process I don’t face obstacles of different types.

I can’t write a chapter in one sitting because given my other jobs I don’t always have two or three running hours to write, which is why I may write two pages and I’ll have to interrupt the writing. This means that sometimes, when I have to follow up on the action or scene, I don’t necessarily find the words to continue.

Some writers would suggest leaving the text and writing something different to shake your mind and try again later. Others would suggest skipping the paragraph or scene, even chapter, and start somewhere I already find myself in.

None of these work for me.

I make myself write the story, be it a paragraph or a sentence; I force myself to write words that may not match the same tone or voice with which I was writing before, but I write it and underline the text (so I’ll know that I have to check it when I type it on the computer) and in any case, I’ll devote more time then.

If I see that the text is too unnatural and that maybe I can’t even write a single sentence, I leave my notebook for a while (a week tops, I don’t allow myself to leave it longer than that), I get distracted watching TV, reading a book or (in the past) checking things for university, and then, once I’ve got no more things with which to procrastinate, I make myself sit down and write.

Sometimes it’s also useful to re-read the chapter, trying to find some form of fluidity, or even re-reading the previous chapter to remember exactly how dialogues and interactions had been happening.

If you are a writer and you have such a problem, look for information and check what methods work best for you. Some writers I love suggest things that aren’t at all useful to me, and as I developed my habits and writing process I realized that there isn’t one specific mold to follow or one specific solution for one of the many problems that may arise along the way.

Each writer follows their own path. This is mine.

Moira Daly

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