Have you ever had writer’s block?
You sit down at the computer and gaze into the blank screen. You wait for the muse to fill you with words to spill out onto that canvas.
Did she get your address wrong?
You drink a cup of coffee hoping that will bring your creativity out.
You do have to go to the bathroom, though.
You take a walk to clear your mind of negativity and limiting beliefs.
When you return you feel good, but you still can’t think of anything.
Doesn’t the muse care that you’re struggling here?
It’s a Lie
Jerry Jenkins recently told Jeff Goins that writers who complain they’re blocked are selling themselves the worst kind of conceit.
Can you imagine working for any kind of employer and saying, “Hey boss, it’s me. I’m just not feeling it today. You know how it is. I won’t be in.”
You might get away with that once. But you’ll probably have to offer some other excuse like a sudden bout of diarrhea that hit you in the middle of the night.
Do it repeatedly and you’ll be looking for another job.Writer's block is perfectionism in disguise. Click To Tweet
Why Do We Believe in Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block is real. It’s not what you think it is, though. It’s really just another name for censorship.
We all hate censors who cut the funny edgy stuff out of our favorite TV shows.
We hate it when censors tell us what we can read, what we can eat, and what we can wear.
So why do we do it to ourselves?
Let me explain.
Picture yourself at your writing space. The page is blank. You wrack your brain but nothing comes – at least nothing earth-shatteringly awesome.
So you give up and resolve to do better tomorrow.
If too many days pass this way, you’ll wonder if you really are a writer.
Besides, aren’t great writers a fountain of ideas? Aren’t they born with the magical ability to dazzle us with their words every time they lift a pen?
It’s not as glamorous as you think:
- There are no writers who hit a home run the first time they draft something.
- There are no writers who feel inspired every minute of every day, day after day.
- There are no writers who don’t find it hard to fill a page sometimes.
Want to know why you have writer’s block?
Your Standards are Too High
The truth is you have ideas.
Lots of ideas.
You censor them away when you decide they aren’t good enough.
You stifle your creativity when you try to conjure an idea that will transform the entire universe.
Compared to that, ordinary ideas seem dull, even worthless. So you toss away thoughts that might have turned into something good but never got a chance.Writer's block is just another name for self-censorship. Click To Tweet
Writer’s Block Is Not Normal
Writer’s block has been so romanticized that we accept it as part of a writer’s calling.
How crazy is that?
What if there was a way to get rid of writer’s block forever? What would that mean for your productivity? How much more would you look forward to your morning writing sessions?
The answer is so simple a child could do it. And most children do – every single day.
Have you ever watched a child at play? He’s always moving, always talking, always following a thought thread wherever it takes him.
Here’s how you can use it to create an endless flow of ideas to write about.
1) Don’t settle for one idea.
If you can write down one idea, you can write ten. If you can write ten, you can write twenty, thirty, fifty, or even a hundred.
Take ten minutes and write down as many ideas as you can. Don’t worry about whether they’re good or bad. Just write whatever comes to mind.
You can censor your list later.
Your idea won’t be perfect. That’s okay. It may look totally different when you’re done.
At least you’ll have something to work with.
Who knows? You might sell more than 10.
The more ideas you look at, the more likely it is you’ll find a good one to develop.If you can have one idea, you can have ten, twenty, fifty, or a hundred. Click To Tweet
2) Keep an Idea Notebook
Zig Ziglar said in his book See You at the Top, an idea unrecorded is often lost.
When you have lots of ideas, you can’t depend on your brain to keep track of them all. Sure, they’ll be in there somewhere. But if you don’t have a way to retrieve them, they as good as lost.
You can buy a spiral notebook if you like doing things old school.
If you’re more of a techie, you can use the notes app on your phone.
I use an app called Drafts. It costs $5 and it’s worth every penny. It gives you tons of options like:
- The ability to email your notes
- Posting your notes to Facebook and Twitter
- Texting your notes to a colleague
- and more!
However you do it, just do it.
Then kiss writer’s block goodbye forever!
Do This Now
Before you write your blog post this week, do this:
- List 10 things to write about.
- Pick the best one.
- Save the rest for later.
Do this every week and you’ll always have something to write about!
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- Use what you learned and share your experience in the comments.
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