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Overcome Writer's Block: How to Cure this Common Ailment
By Melinda Copp
Every writer at one time or another suffers from writer's block. It's that painful inability to get your thoughts down on paper and it comes after all different kinds of writers. Unlike other ailments, writer's block is not cured by taking two aspirins and going to bed. On the contrary, that approach can often only aggravate the condition, since pressure mounts and panic increases as the task is delayed.
Because different writers experience different creative blocks, different treatments are often advisable. But many writers will find the following course of treatment does the trick.
1. Figure Out Exactly What You Want to Say
Frequently you can't get the ideas to come out because you haven't decided what it is that you want to say in the piece you’re writing. Figuring your real message out as you write may seem efficient, but this approach can actually counterproductive. In the end, your thinking will be muddled and you won't communicate clearly. Instead of jumping in without a plan, don’t start writing until you come up with a statement of what you hope to produce and how you aim to achieve it.
2. Acknowledge that Good Work doesn’t Always Come Easy
Next, recognize that writing anything is hard work. You’re going to struggle to find the right words at times, and the first thoughts that come into your mind won’t always be the best. Although preparation will help, no amount of forethought and planning will eliminate the tedium of putting your thoughts down on the page. Even writers with years of experience sometimes grope for their thoughts like they’re lost in the dark.
3. Turn Off Your Inner Critic
Another sure-fire way to slow down your writing pace is to obsess over what you think others will think of you. Again, careful preparation and doing your research will decrease any chance that your writing will fall short of your own and other’s expectations. And others are generally not nearly as critical as you might imagine. Most of the time, people quickly read your writing and give you the benefit of the doubt about what you say and how you say it.
4. Resist the Temptation to Edit as You Write Your Draft
Another way to get bogged down and overwhelmed is editing as you compose. Going back over the same sentence or paragraph time and time again will only help you to lose the train of thought that could result in a great work. All the professionals suggest that you write the first draft all the way through and then go back and make necessary changes. Make sure that you can separate the writing phase from the editing phase of your work. When drafting the message, write the whole thing out in full with no interruptions. The goal at first should be to get your ideas down before they escape.
End Writer’s Block for Good
About the Author:
Writer’s block can happen to any writer. And one major key to beating it is to not let it stop you. Use these tips to manage your creative challenges, and you’ll be able to beat writer’s block every time it strikes.
Melinda Copp is a writing coach, ghostwriter, and book editor who specializes in helping aspiring authors reach their writing goals. Sign up for her free e-zine at www.FINALLYwriteabook.com, and get a free special report!