Overcoming Different Types of Writers Block

Even the most productive and inspired writers can find themselves hitting a bump in the road once in a while. Any setback having to do with the process of writing can be referred to as writer's block, whether you are having trouble getting started, are stuck on a piece of research or are stumped about how to move your plot forward. Writer's block has been around for as long as people have been writing, so luckily there are some tried-and-true methods for getting your writing process back on track and overcoming the different types of writer's block.

The dreaded first sentence

The first sentence or line can be the toughest to write because there is so much pressure to introduce the reader in an engaging way. If you find yourself stuck on the first sentence, remember that you can go back and change it later. Chances are, a light bulb will go off at some point during the writing process and you will know exactly what to change the sentence to. You can make it the best idea you have so far, or you can even make it nonsensical -- but putting the first sentence aside will allow you to focus your efforts on your writing as a whole instead of fixating on the very beginning.

A mid-work slump

Writer's block can hit at any time during the writing process, even right smack in the middle of a project. You may find yourself staring at your notebook or computer screen at a loss for words, wondering why you even bother. In these cases, it is best to hit "save" or tuck that notebook away, take a break, and promise yourself you will come back to it later. Going for a jog or getting coffee with friends will help you de-stress, provide you with opportunities for inspiration, and allow you to look at your work with fresh eyes when you return to it. It probably won't be as bad as you think it is and you just need to clear your head.

Just write

Writer's block is not a physical inability to write, but more often a fear that what we are writing is not good enough. Writing something that needs to be edited is much better than not writing anything at all, so put your fears aside and do your best. Try not to go back and correct yourself until your writing is complete; this will help to keep you going with forward momentum. Forcing yourself to "just write" with no inhibitions will allow you to produce a great amount of material to work from, and you will likely find you are able to use most, if not all of it. As Sylvia Plath once said, "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." Believing in yourself and your writing abilities are the keys to overcoming writer's block and getting the creative juices flowing once again.

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