An old friend, and his family, came into town last week for a conference. We hadn’t seen each other in years, and it was fantastic to catch up as they’re lovely people. On his last day, we sat down to breakfast together. That was when his son asked me a fairly important question: How do I deal with writer’s block?
My answer was inadequate as I quickly got distracted, and tried answering that question along with one he’d asked earlier. That was stupid on my part. Now that I’ve had a few days to get my head straight, I thought I’d try for a proper explanation.
First things, first, writing is a job and should be treated as such. That means, you sit down at your desk and work every day. Granted, there are times that are easier to do this than others, but the key factor here is to be consistent. If you’re waiting for inspiration to strike before you put pen to paper, then it’s very likely you’ll never start, let alone complete a project.
You have to be disciplined, persistent, and willing to put in the effort it takes to keep writing when nothing seems to make sense. Being an author is more about sticking with it when things get tough than it is being an inspired genius.
So, how do I deal with writer’s block? I write, and I keep writing until something clicks. That’s the joy of the written word. You can keep going until it makes sense and edit out the crap later. It’s like going to the gym, if you say you want to get in shape but never do anything about it, you’ll never succeed. When you first start out, its tough, but as you stick with it you get stronger and it gets easier. The same can be said about writing.