As I walked into my first high school writing class, I was greeted by the phrase “Quality Writing Requires Quality Thought” written in huge letters across the chalkboard. I remember it clearly, as it left me with a sense of dread; as a newly arriving freshman, I had limited experience with organized quality thought. To this day, I still struggle, albeit substantially less, with my writing and face bouts of writer’s block. I experience writer’s block just like everyone else. I seem to experience it more while writing formal documents and less when I write informal documents. I am starting to fully realize this is a result of my mindset and approach to writing. Since writing more for my blog, I have begun to understand the importance of my writing attitude. My attitude comes through in my writing and anyone can tell when I am writing because I feel I have to verses when I want to write.
“I think writer’s block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible. But as a writer, I believe that if you sit down at the keys long enough, sooner or later something will come out.” (Roy Blount, Jr.)
To battle a bout of writer’s block, I have found my outline is one of my greatest allies. The outline helps me focus on the purpose of my writing, and it resolves the issue of not being sure what I am writing about in any particular sentence or paragraph. I also incorporate some basic tactics into my writing process such as taking breaks to read other materials, changing the location and time of where I write, distraction elimination, and just doing some free writing to get the flow going. For some reason, procrastination just loves to rear its head when I am struggling with writer’s block. To keep me on track and battling writer’s block, I follow a writing schedule. Lastly, I have recently found the idea of writing for shorter blocks of time to be appealing. In the past, I believed I needed to write for long periods to get into a creative mind frame. By working in frequent, but shorter periods, I am able to maintain a lower stress level and stay in a creative mind frame longer.
What is your approach for breaking through a writer’s block?