As writers, we know that feeling. Fingers standing still over the keys. The cursor blinking on a blank page. Your brain an empty hole of lack of imagination. Writer’s block. We blame the characters, we blame the plotting, we blame the lack of research. Sometimes we forget to blame–dare I say it–our own laziness.
We get tied up and frustrated; the days have been busy–we are tired. We simply don’t “feel it”. We have all been in this situation, and we like to blame it on multiple things and call it writer’s block. The “I don’t feel it” attitude is not wrong. Many of us experience it after having a rough day or being stressed over the project itself. But thankfully, it is something you can fix, with perhaps more ease than the traditional writer’s block requires. With a few simple steps, but definitely hard work, you can push yourself to work beyond the, “I don’t feel it,” attitude.
Remember that sweet beautiful feeling you first got when you decided on your protagonists name? Or the time the plot first landed in your head? Remember how glorious it was to dream about your story? Those feelings don’t have to be gone now that the hard work has begun. Get the excitement back and remind yourself why you love this project. Develop characters more: remind yourself of why you love them so much. Research more of your favorite quirks from your story, like that super awesome sword you saw on Pinterest. Engage your imagination once more in what your story can be. Allow it to soar like it did so long ago when the story began, and let the craziest ideas come back for a new revelation to the story.
Setting goals can be a great way to fix the “I’m not feeling it” mood. I like setting weekly goals, it keeps me fresh every week, coming up with new ideas for writing. Start small; maybe commit to writing 400 words a week, then you will accomplish it more easily. Gradually, start challenging yourself with greater goals and step it up to 1,000 words a week. In the past as I set goals, I would find myself having to sacrifice the times that I previously used for watching movies, reading, interent, and even sleep in order to reach my goals. But in the end, I was glad to look back and see what I accomplished because of my commitment.
Which leads me to the next subject.
Make a commitment
Commit to your story. You must come to the realization that you want to write this and it will happen one way or another. Decide how important this story is to you. Is it worth skipping the movie in order to finish a chapter? Love your characters, love the story. I have had stories where I despised the characters; in turn I never wrote and dragged myself through research for it. Decide to embrace your project; commit to it like it is a dear friend to you. If you leave it alone for too long it would be hurt by your absence. Your project needs you.
Don’t make excuses
And finally, ignore the voices in your head. Yeah, we all know them. The ones that say, “Go ahead, write tomorrow, you worked all day.” Sometimes it is good to take a break. Days can get tiring, and we all need a little break. But sometimes we start to say it every day; we make excuses for ourselves constantly. Soon, “tomorrow” is just another way of saying “never” because we simply can’t muster enough determination. It reminds me of every time my alarm goes off, right when I think sleep couldn’t get any better. My head screams for me to turn it off and sleep, it begs and comes up with every excuse. But deep down I know I must get up, and so with the craziest amount of strength I can muster at 5:30 A.M., I roll out of bed and say no to sleep.
Say no to the voices, set a goal, commit to the project, and love what you do. It’s sounds simple on paper, but believe me, it is hard. But guess what? We can do it. It is in fact possible.