In my opinion, writer’s block comes from two places. Either you can’t motivate yourself to sit down and commit something to paper, or you’ve managed to sit down, and then can’t transfer an idea to a blank page.
As you may have guessed by the fact that this weekend post is being written at 11PM on a Sunday, my writer’s block post was ironically afflicted with the first type of writer’s block. The way I solved this is the way I solve all cases of writer’s block: concrete deadlines.
Ultimately, writer’s block comes from either pure distraction, or a subconscious fear that your ideas or writing won’t be good enough. The first reason is easy enough to solve over time, but it won’t be of much help if you intend to do anything with your writing, or be anywhere near prolific. The easiest way to get over it is through judicious use of deadlines. If you write is reasonable chunks, but hold yourself responsible for said chunks, you’ll be productive. That’s how I wrote the first draft of my novel, 750 words or so a day, every day, for six weeks. Of course, when I started the editing process, without the same easy judicious deadlines, things fell apart.
As for writer’s block around ideas, you first have to let go of the notion that you’re going to come up with something original and brilliant. First of all, you won’t, and second of all, if you do, all that time you didn’t spend writing is going to ensure it gets ignored anyway because you didn’t spend time learning your craft. Next, you have to have some ideas. This should be easy if you’re no longer abandoning them due to being self-conscious, but having some sort of journal may help. I typically always have ideas rolling around in my head, but paper works if you don’t have that sort of memory.
Et voila. Now you can write. I never said well, but that’s what editing is for. Tomorrow, a discussion of my latest worldbuilding idea. Tuesday, a public brainstorm about starting my next novel.