NaNoWriMo, Writer Tips

Writer’s Block Does Not Exist (Here’s What’s REALLY Eating At You)

I’m going to tell you something you’ve never realized before: Writer’s Block does not exist.

I know, this sounds CRAZY! How to fix Writer’s Block is everywhere: people make courses about it, people try to tell other people how to fix it in their blog posts, and people spend their writing hours moaning about how they can’t write. Honestly, it’s become one of the biggest writerly problems out there!

And I’m telling you today that it doesn’t exist.Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

1. Writer’s Block

Let’s start this post out properly, shall we?

*we all sit down at a round table-

Flaps.gif

-drinking our tea very British-ly*

bf4

*-and someone in the group with an EPIC monocle raises their tea cup and says in a British accent, “Dearest Mary, what IS this plague called Writer’s Block? How dost one slay it?”

ALRIGHTY. Let’s begin.

The definition of Writer’s Block is: The inability to write.

tenor.gif

Yes. I find this funny.

I’m going to be very blunt right now: The only time you’ll ever have the inability to write is the day you loose your fingers.

giphy.gif

SORRY, it’s gross, I know, but it’s the truth!

Here’s the thing:

  • You can’t write if you don’t have fingers.
  • You can’t write if you don’t know how to read.

But that’s IT.

If you have fingers, you can type. If you have hands, you can pick up that pen or pencil and set it to paper. If you know how to read and write, you can read and write those words down.

You never ever physically have the incapability of writing something. EVER (other than the two reasons I listed).

“Alright, fair enough,” someone random not British person in the group grumps out, “Here’s the real problem, though. I know how to do these things physically, but I feel as though I have a sort of…mental block.”

Well done, non-British-person-who-asks-all-the-right-questions.

unnamed.gif

We’ve covered why Writer’s Block cannot humanly exist because we can all write. So what IS this thing that’s stopping us from writing?

Let me introduce to the real culprit here:

Perfectionist Block. 

2. Perfectionist Block

Perfectionist Block is what’s actually blocking you!

  • Essentially, Perfectionist Block is when you have the mental inability to write because you want everything to be perfect first try.

Here’s the thing: We feel as though we can’t write because somewhere deep deep DEEEEEPPPP within ourselves…we want everything going onto that page to be PERFECT. 

Perfectionist Block hits you anywhere at anytime when writing your book, and that’s because you’re afraid you’re going to mess up writing that part.

“So…” asks a timid voice from within the group, “how do we get rid of it?”

tenor.gif

Now HERE’S what we’ve been waiting for! How do I get rid of Perfectionist Block?

I’m going to tell you something very deep and philosophical.

*takes a deep breath*

I want you to go to your document and write trash. 

CZvLjs9

Okayokayokay HOLD UP one second – I don’t mean trash talk.

The thing is, you have to let go of trying to be perfect somehow, and an inspirational pep talk with dramatic violin solos and a dude declaring that “No one is perfect!” aint gunna cut it right now.

So, instead, I want you to go to your document and just WRITE. Because, as stated in section #1, you do still have the ability to write since you still have hands. I should hope so anyway *coughs*.

I want you to write your book, write out that next scene, write out a random anything and LET. IT. SUCK. (I feel like I was about to sing ‘let it go’ or something, but don’t worry I won’t burst into song on you guys right now)

Moana.gif

Your job today? WRITE SOMETHING TERRIBLE! Write something so cringey it HURTS.

But guess what? There’s someone I know called Future You who is an editor. Who cares if that scene you wrote sucked? You’re the ONLY ONE who’s going to see it! 

And here’s the thing: if it gets you started – no matter how badly written it is – then that’s what matters. Later on, Future You is going to edit that page – but Future You can’t edit if there’s no page to edit on. It’s Future You’s job to edit, and it’s Present You’s job to write.

Fix it later.

Write your heart out now.

How to Kill Perfectionist Block:

Spill out your thoughts on physical paper.

Guys, there’s just one problem about typing on a computer: everything feels so finalized.

Have you ever just stared at your cursor blinking on and off? It’s daunting, isn’t it?

Right now, I advise you to take your work off the screen for the day. Jot down scene ideas on paper, rework some other scenes, or even have some fun and write some random scene using your cast of characters based off of a prompt on Pinterest!

Paper can be torn up or scribbled all over, and you can just be as messy as you want! This really helps you and your brain let loose and explore every possibility without feeling like everything has to be perfect first try.

How to Avoid Getting Perfectionist Block Again:

I haven’t had Perfectionist Block in I don’t know how long! It’s been a LOT of years, for sure.

You might be wondering how that’s possible.

Well, ever since I started writing my book for myself, based on a story that was deeply and emotionally personal to me…I stopped feeling like it was hard. Words began to flow, my characters began to be assembled, and my plot formulated into place.

If you make your book about YOUR personal life story, then you will know that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your own personal story that happened wasn’t perfect. No one will ever live a perfect life in this world.

Maybe this is just me, but I think that if you love your story deeply enough, you would understand you wouldn’t need to struggle for a second trying to make it perfect. Because the story you’re telling is beautifully imperfect already.

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

Writer’s Block doesn’t exist, but Perfectionist Block does. Now you know that. But you also know you can easily escape it.

Have you ever had Perfectionist Block? Have you ever heard of it before?

Does this help you? I hope you’ll never have Perfectionist Block again.

Also, thank you to my two inspirations for this post: my cousin Gemma, and Jessica Brody. Thank you Gemma for asking me for help when you had Perfectionist Block! You totally inspired me to write this post. And thank you as well to Jessica Brody for coming up with the term ‘Perfectionist Block’. It’s ingenious. 

Like these posts? Wanna have more? Subscribe to my email list to receive inside info and lots of fun! 

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading!

Mary

Pin It!

Writer's Block Does Not Exist (Here's What's REALLY Eating at You!)

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/693061830131937948/

15 thoughts on “Writer’s Block Does Not Exist (Here’s What’s REALLY Eating At You)”

  1. Absolutely loved this! It’s a great way to look at writers block let alone conquer it ✨ Sometimes I think I have writers block but in reality I have the ideas it’s just that I keep questioning myself so nothing gets done. But when I do just go ahead and write like you said at least then I have something to edit later on and make a post I’m proud of. I’m not even going to use the WordPress app to save this post (as for some reason it deletes posts I save a short while after 😂) I’m going to save it to my phones homepage so that I can remember it and look back on it in the future! Truly amazing post 🙌💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Elsie! It totally is! 😄
      That is SO true, and that’s totally where Perfectionist Block comes in. Yes! Exactly!
      Oh my goodness, thank you, I’m so glad it helped you! 😊 ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicely written.

    Writing is a creative act, and therefore subject to all the same principles of creativity.

    Creativity is more emotional/feeling based and far less logical-minded.

    Basically, to be more creative, you relax more, not focus harder.

    It’s like sleep, you don’t fall asleep by trying harder.

    Just getting started and giving yourself PERMISSION to write poor quality work is very powerful.
    Throw it away later, that’s fine, the purpose of it is to get the juices flowing, let the thoughts flow.

    Overthinking, or trying to solve a thinking error with more thinking, will lead to looping on the same question endlessly.

    Taking a step back to see the bigger picture gets you out of the weeds that concentration/logic and bury you in.

    Much like a cold shower or relaxing walk, new ideas can flow far easier.

    Open up a blank document, and type whatever comes to mind, no matter how off topic. Let the pattern your mind is naturally leaning towards dictate what you write about. Fighting it will cause unnatural tension and thus inefficiency in the creative process.

    Thanks for sharing 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there Brandon!
      I completely agree-giving yourself permission to be terrible is one the best things writers can do for themselves!

      Thank you for sharing as well! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s