I have a lot of writers say to me ‘I just can’t get in the zone’ or ‘I just don’t feel like writing’. Well I’ve got some tough news. If this is how you feel then maybe you’re not a true writer and it’s worth calling it quits right now.
Do you ever get to work in the morning and feel ‘I just can’t be bothered today’? Of course you have, I imagine every soul on the planet has. So what do you do? Perhaps call in sick? Or do you stick it out and crack on with it?
Hmmm, just as I thought.
So why are you using excuses to avoid your writing? ‘I’ve got writer’s block’ or ‘I don’t know what to write’ are clichés that I hear far too often. When you walk past the dishes in the sink, do you ‘I’ve got doing-the-dishes block’? Or do you crack on and get them out of the way. Occasionally ignoring them is fine but every day? It’s not going to work.
This so called writer’s block is making you think of writing as a chore and yes maybe it is. Sometimes the hardest parts feel that way. But like the dirty dishes in the sink, it’s not going to sort itself out so it’s time to face the fear sit down and get on with it.
I’ve heard some people say that a blank page is daunting and unforgiven, it dries up the creativity and maybe it does. But as long as you’re writing something, you’re making progress. So let me draw a fail-free step-by-step guide to get you in the zone.
- Sit down. And I don’t mean on the sofa. Find a table, a desk, somewhere that you feel like work should be carried out. Preferably in a room without a TV – that will make your life much easier.
- Decide what it is you’re going to work on. Don’t give yourself any more than a minute to make up your mind otherwise you’ll get nothing done – we’re on a schedule her people!
- Get your writing equipment together. Pen and paper or laptop, it really doesn’t matter just make sure that there’s something you can use.
- Now write something, anything. Just put some words down. They don’t even have to make sense or even be related but get them out of your head.
- Now that your head is clearer, you’ll be able to see the story. And you’ll be thinking to yourself ‘what writers block?’
Coming back to a writing task can feel like jumping off a cliff but it really isn’t. Your writers block isn’t because you can’t find inspiration, it’s because the inspiration is stuck behind so much other junk. Did I remember to put the bins out, there’s laundry on the line that needs bringing in, dinner needs cooking, the car needs cleaning, the kids need their lunchboxes made, I need to book…. The list is never ending. No wonder your creativity is finding it hard to get out, there’s a whole crowd of thoughts in the way.
Try and put some music on, relax into it, embrace it. Don’t label it as impossible. Sure it’s hard but so is being a mum or dad and look how many people cope with that. So it’s time to banish the writer’s block and learn how to get in the zone of writing.