June 24, 2012 by orvietoorbust
Dictionary.com defines writer’s block as follows:
“a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work.”
Now that I have a diagnosis and understand the symptoms, I’m ready to find a cure.
This paralyzing syndrome, as I discovered, is quite common among those who write on a regular basis. There are, naturally, different schools of thought on what brings about writer’s block in the first place. The most common notion seems to be that writer’s block is a vicious cycle generated from a fear that your work might not be good enough, followed by anxiety, which in turn stops the flow of your creative juices. Some feel it could also be caused by a lack of inspiration, while others think it happens as a result of the deficiency of interesting material.
Writer’s block steps heavily on your creativity hose, thereby preventing ideas and coherent thoughts from making it onto the page. An acute ailment, this disorder must be eradicated before it becomes a chronic condition. I am determined to snuff-out this insidious and confidence-blowing virus once and for all.
Below are suggestions and advice I’ve compiled from people in the know who’ve had writer’s block and found ways to overcome it. Here they are, from 1 to 10, in no particular order of importance:
#1 Take a break – walk away from the project and do something fun.
#2 Sit down and type ten of the worst pages of you’ve ever written.
#3 Turn off your computer screen and write as fast as you can. Edit later.
#4 Give your ideas time to gestate – write about a lot of different things.
#5 Seek therapy.
#6 Make a schedule and stick to it. Write everyday.
#7 Eat chocolate and make yourself a nice cup of tea.
#8 Have a change of scenery.
#9 Be authentic in your writing: if it’s not working it may be a “lie”.
#10 Return to Italy immediately for inspiration!
Thanks to fellow expat writers Debbie Oakes, Barbara Zaragoza, Giuliana Sica, Rhonda Walker, Mark Leslie and Lisa Chiodo for their contributions to this post – I couldn’t have done it without you. “Write on”!