Much of writer’s block comes from putting on too many restrictions. It is helpful to reduce limiting factors, such as inner critics, bogged-down writing rules, and time constraints. Once you break free, you can customize your writing process in a way that works for you. Below are some handy tips, adapted from Outwitting Writer’s Block and Other Problems of the Pen by Jenna Glatzer:
-Learn to silence your inner critic
Don’t get stuck on the wheel of self-criticism (“that’s cliche,” “the work isn’t really ready,” etc.). Turn your critic into a pragmatist in order to give yourself realistic and constructive feedback.
-Make your own rules
You don’t have to start at the beginning. A lot of writers get tripped up on introductory paragraphs due to the pressure of covering the impact of the whole piece before it’s even written. Instead, write two or three key ideas on a separate sheet of paper, or start an outline. You can then use the starting thoughts to formulate some of the later paragraphs, and return to the introductory paragraph when you’re ready.
-Don’t let looming deadlines get the best of you
If a strict deadline is upon you, just keep writing. If you freeze in panic, the work will never get done. Just write something, anything, even if you think it stinks. You can also delegate the workload by having a trusted colleague proof your work. To avoid future looming deadlines, treat the writing process like eating an elephant: do it a little bit at a time. If you need 10 pages by Saturday, write 2 pages each day until Friday. If the writing flows more than 2 pages a day, feel free to do more. Make your own schedule.
-The Writer Librarian