Do you ever feel like everything you write sounds bad? Not many writers will admit that they’ve come down with a severe case of writer’s block, but most writers do get it from time to time. It’s kind of like the common cold—it’s not fatal, but it pretty much sours your outlook on life, and it can keep coming back until it drives you nuts. So, it’s time to take preventative action.
Writer’s block is an illness that comes seemingly out of nowhere to knock a perfectly writing writer out of the writing game. You already know the symptoms: bloodshot eyes from staring at a blank computer screen, carpal tunnel syndrome from typing “fdsajkl;fdsajkl”; a strong desire to toss your computer through the window; a belief in the improbable hope that the writing fairies will come and sprinkle some fairy dust on your keyboard to cause flowing, lofty descriptions to magically appear on your computer screen.
Of course, an ailment so debilitating to writers everywhere begs the question: Is it contagious? Interestingly enough, the answer is “yes”, yes it is. Are you harboring an imaginary critic who constantly looks over your shoulder as you’re writing or typing? And could that imaginary critic be you?
Here’s a short quiz you can take to find out if you might be susceptible to writer’s block:
- Do you believe the first draft is the last draft?
- Do you believe in beautifully crafted sentences at first sight?
- Do you believe that you can only write well if you’re at a getaway retreat or sitting at an old wooden desk by candlelight with a feathered pen?
- Do you believe that the Muses must be dancing around your writer’s lair before you can be inspired to create anything wonderful?
- Do you believe that most good writers never ever write anything that is not worth reading?
- Do you normally hear or see any other “imaginary” people?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be susceptible to writer’s block.
So, how do you get rid of it?
Well, crazy as this sounds, the therapy prescribed by writers everywhere to break through writer’s block is quite simple: Write! Yep, that’s it. Write. Now, wait a minute. How can writing be the solution to the problem of not being able to write? This sounds way too elementary and simple. Isn’t there a pill you can take to write magical, beautiful script without having to revise or even edit?
The key here is that you do not have to “like” what you write. You just have to write. Let it all hang out, to quote the hippie slogan from the 60s. Just let it go, man. Let the words roll off of your keyboard or from your pen. Then, go back and re-read it. Scratch out everything you don’t like, but make sure to look for the hidden gem. Maybe there’s something there that you didn’t think you would ever write.
Put that “gem” at the top of your page, scratch out the bad stuff, and begin writing again. You didn’t like anything you wrote? Then, start writing again, and scratching, and writing, and scratching, and writing and scratching—like a kitten with fleas—until you do write something you like. At Henderson Enterprises, we even have a money-back guarantee on this: If you can’t write us a cogent e-mail explaining why this method didn’t work for you, we guarantee we won’t give you your money back for our FREE advice until you can.