Did you know that the keyword, “writer’s block” is Googled 9,000 times/month?
Nine thousand times. It looks like a lot of writers experience writer’s block and while we all feel blocked or discouraged at times, writer’s block is a privilege.
“I don’t know what to write.”
“I know what to write but the words come out all wrong.”
If you are in a position where you don’t have to write to pay your bills, you are privileged.
I’m privileged—tremendously. I’ve been blocked on my Christmas story for months. I had something written but it’s ridiculously awful and I can’t bring myself to mold it into something better.
Because I don’t have to.
I can work on other projects, tackle my marketing logistics for my other books, and distract myself with other shiny objects.
The privilege of being blocked
Cassie Gonzales cited writer’s block as privilege at the Stockholm Writers Festival when asked how she overcomes occasional blockages.
“It’s a total privilege to have writer’s block, isn’t it? My mom is a copper mine truck driver in Arizona and she has written her books on her iPad while sitting in the cab of her truck.
She has one minute while the truck is being loaded up and in that minute, she writes as much as she can. Her books read like they’ve been written in one minute chunks because they have. But she has manuscripts written down on paper.
Anytime I want to complain about writer’s block, I think about my mother and what she’s overcame to write her books.”
Tips from other writers on overcoming writer’s block
“I have a Spotify playlist for each of my characters and mood boards for each character. Whenever I start to feel stuck, I start to listen to that character’s playlist to get me back into the mood.” —Jess Lourey
“Set word count goals. Everyone can write one sentence at a time.” —Paul Rapacioli
“Manipulate your emotions to break a block—it doesn’t mean your writing will be good but you’ll get unstuck.”—Cassie Gonzales
Everyone gets stuck sometimes
Your first draft is going to be horrible but nobody is going to see it so keep writing.
Everyone is really uncomfortable with their writing at first and it’s only until draft #10-#70 that you start to feel like a genius.
To break through my Christmas story rhyming disaster, I’m listening to Christmas music on YouTube, reading rhyming quatrains for inspiration, and putting words down on paper that will never see the light of day.
The best way to break writer’s block is to write.
Write down any words that come into your mind and eventually, your mind will spit out something worth keeping.