As a writer myself, I suffer from a writer’s block once in a while just like others. When this happens, I tend to question myself “Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?”. Simply because I become frustrated when I’m uninspired to write new content.
What I didn’t realise is there are many factors contributing to a writer’s block, one of them being timing. You already have that idea in your head, but it’s not the time to write it – yet. The thoughts are still processing, and it may take longer than expected for it to appear. Not only that, I also noticed that I always want my work to be smooth, therefore, it has to be perfect before I write it or type it out. This actually drifts you away from developing fresh propositions.
As I was figuring out how to combat this, I found a few tips that got me back on my feet when it comes to writing:
Have not only one draft, but as many as you want
This sounds tedious, but from my experience, having more than one draft helps. A good piece of work wouldn’t take you a day or two to complete. The first draft you create is only the skeleton of your piece and you need to keep coming back to it for ideas to come.
As quoted by Walter Benjamin, “Work on a good piece of writing proceeds on three levels: a musical one, where it is composed; an architectural one, where it is constructed; and finally, a textile one, where it is woven.”
Subsequently, when you try to work on it for a whole day, you’ll be burnout and that’s when your thoughts vanished. Hence, drafting as well as refining it again and again on a daily basis helps you to see where your work is going. Eventually, you’ll be satisfied with the outcome.
Leave the familiarity and discover new inspirations
I don’t know about you, but I find so much comfort in things I’m familiar with. I tend to seek these for when I feel demotivated and need a little push. Be it re-watching a TV series, movie or doing activities I enjoy the most such as reading and journaling. Little did I know, I needed to explore new things for me to be encouraged. Most of the time, I try to find my muse from the contentment of my home.
However recently, I tried doing things differently. I went out to treat myself a nice meal alone while observing my surroundings. I don’t really fancy being alone but safe to say, that’s led me to discover new viewpoints. Moreover, you can also opt for a jog or a drive to ensure that your mind’s at ease. This is important as sometimes you just need to take a breather and do mundane tasks before you start working your brain again. Especially during unprecedented times like these due to COVID-19, staying home too much can discourage you.
Express your struggles to a trusted person
Talk it out. Believe me when I say expressing what you’re going through to someone helps. When you’re on the verge of giving up, it’s vital to let out your frustrations to another human being. Allow them to understand and how they can be a help to you. Almost 100% of the time, they’ll be able to provide you not only the support you need, but also contribute to your existing ideas. Second opinions are often valued and it might be different from what you imagined at first, but that’s not the biggest problem in the world. Let yourself loose once in a while and see where it takes you. Rest assured, you’ll be amazed with the final product.
Being uninspired can actually inspire you…
When you experience a writer’s block, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the struggle drives you to try new things and venture into the world more. So, don’t be too hard on yourself. I told someone dearly a few weeks ago, “Being uninspired inspires me” and that steered me to writing this article!