WRITER’S BLOCK By Damaris Irungu Ochieng’

Writer’s block…The two words most writers are afraid of, words that might mean doom or the end of a career if the syndrome persists.

So what exactly is this dreaded writer’s block? Is there really such a thing as writers block or is the afflicted writer just being lazy?

Honestly I believe there’s nothing like writer’s block, but before you throw stones at me for belittling your very real life challenges, hear me out.

Imagine you having a conversation with your child, if you don’t have a child just imagineJ So Imagine you waking your kid up to get ready for school and your kid refuses to get up, you ask why, they say they don’t ‘feel’ like going to school, in disbelief you respond ‘excuse me, what do you mean you don’t feel like going to school?’ And your son or daughter says they just feel uninspired, they’re not sure if they’ll understand anything that day at school because they’re just not feeling like it. What do you do as a parent? Cut them back to size by telling them to get up in the next few minutes or they will know who is the parent in this house, that would be me, If you’re more of a diplomatic parent you talk persuasively to them and convince them of the importance of going to school even when they don’t feel like it and that once they get there they will feel like it and will have an amazing time.

I have a strong feeling that many of us parents would not entertain our child who doesn’t ‘feel’ like going to school.

If we wouldn’t entertain our child’s ‘feelings’, why are we so quick to entertain that ‘feeling’ when it comes to our very own writing? Writer’s block is simply a feeling, ‘I feel uninspired, my brain feels foggy, I have no clue how to end this story, I don’t know what the mid- point is and many other crippling feelings.

Friends, if we entertain those thoughts then we’ll never get any writing done. The secret to beating writer’s block is to simply show up for your writing appointment and just do it! Banish that feeling and get writing. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get trapped in the writers’ block excuse.

  1. Plan ahead- planning ahead helps and saves you so much heartache especially on the days you feel less inspired (read writer’s block) When you know ahead of time what you will be working on the next day then your brain will not have a reason to freeze because you already have some plan of what to expect when you sit at your work station.
  2. Show up- If you don’t show up then you will never know what writing you could have done that day. The best gift you can give your career is to show up every day.
  3. Know thyself- Are you a morning person, a night owl or anything goes? When are you at your best creatively? Sometimes we end up confused when we find that our role model works best in the morning and yet we are night owls. Don’t compare yourself to anyone, you are the only one who knows what works for you. Find your fit and don’t waste your most productive time.
  4. Fill up your well- Sometimes writers block manifests itself because your well is empty, when you have reached the end of your knowledge on a particular topic and yet the story demands more. What do you do at this point? You go in and do more research, read on the topic, watch a documentary or movie or TV show on the topic, read articles, get your hands on information that will help give you  new insight that will help jump start your writing.
  5. Have a road map- Where do you want to go and by when? How do you plan on getting there? If you know you need to write a 90 page feature length script, you start breaking it down, perhaps 5 pages a day *20=100pages so you know in roughly 20 days if you’ve already mapped it out then you should for sure have your first draft.

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book on writing. For more on the mindset and craft of writing, sign up to my email list by clicking on the sign up button on my FB writer’s page – Damaris Irungu O – Writer’s page, fill in your details, confirm the subscription from the email you receive and more excerpts from my book on writing will be sent to you.

Happy Writing and Creating!

2 thoughts on “WRITER’S BLOCK By Damaris Irungu Ochieng’”

  1. Thanks a lot for this guide on writing.This has been my incessant drawback in my writing,at times almost putting me off.
    You just create the writers block if you don’t plan in advance,you become swayed off and writing becomes boring.l would love to get more information.Thanks a lot madam.

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