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  • Writer's pictureTamara Gocken

Writing Paralysis

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

Writing is an art. It is no different from painting, sculpting, or welding. It is a custom creation that deserves time to develop into a published work. Enjoy your passion for writing and use your skill to drive happiness for yourself and others.


Occasionally writer's block occurs, a paralysis of sorts. Not sure what to say, how to say it, or what direction to take. When you are stuck, it is how you process it and what you do that helps you overcome it. Here are some ways that may help you navigate writer's block.


Motivated in writing

Reasons for Writer's Block

There are many reasons why we become unproductive with our writing. Let's review a few of them and consider how to conquer these situations.


Stress

Do you feel stressed? How do you know when you are stressed? Understanding if you are stressed helps you to seek a solution.


Step away and take a break. Breaks work! Treat yourself fairly and take a hiatus. Clear your mind and enjoy a little downtime. It is okay to do so. Your work will be there when you return.


Distractions

Distractions occur. Whether a human interruption or an electronic one, try removing yourself from these situations to focus on your work. So, turn off the phone. Turn off all notifications. Close the door. And, let's get to work.


Maybe you need to remove yourself from the office. Try sitting outside and completing your work. The fresh air and warm sun may be just what you need to get those creative juices flowing. Find a creative workspace that works for you.


Fear

Fear is a common hurdle that writers face. Even the most confident person can get their head spinning out of control. You have to believe in yourself. When you are down, reach out to a close friend for a pick-me-up. It is okay to have a bad day, and it is better to ask for help than to sit and let your negative thoughts get the best of you.


Perfection

Perfection is an admiral quality; however, it can get in the way of productivity. Writing is a process. It takes time and energy to create something worthy of publishing. Hold off on editing until the end. Perfectionists can get so focused on dotting the i's that they lose track of the storyline they have in their heads.


No Idea What to Write

Staring at the blank page and having no clue what to write? It is not that uncommon to feel this way. Refer to your outline. Do more research, and get your creativity flowing. Most importantly, be patient with yourself.


How to Say It

Sometimes, you get to a point in your story when you think, now, how should I say that? And the wheels fall off the road. Before you get too far off track, do a u-turn. That's right; go back a few steps, revisit your writing before the block, and see where you can make adjustments to keep writing. Here's a video from Reedsy, "The Three Types of Writers Block & How to Combat Them," - which reviews different types of writer's block and tips to defeat them.


If you do hit that roadblock, put the car in park and go for a walk. Or, jump ahead. You can always come back to this section later. Rest assured, the light will come on, and you will figure out the best way to maneuver this challenge.


Lack of Motivation

Lack of Writing Motivation

Need some fire in your soul? Get moving. Do what makes you feel light and full of life - dancing, walking, and singing provide a great distraction, mentally and physically. Here are some ways to get your motivation going.


Smaller Chunks

Break up the writing assignment into smaller chunks - write # of pages per day, research one day, the outline the next, etc. By breaking up the project into smaller bite-size pieces, you feel more accomplished in your work. Check out Jerry Jenkins's YouTube video: How to Overcome Writer's Block Once and For All. Jerry covers this topic and other helpful tips for overcoming writer's block.


Schedule

Plan your writing time, and remove distractions. No phone. No email. Turn off notifications. Close the door. Get offline. Establishing a good routine helps to set the stage for your writing time. The Purdue Global University's "7 Ways to Overcome Writer's Block" article speaks to the importance of developing a ritual.


Step Away

Clear your head. Go for a walk. Ride your bike. Create a distraction that consumes your brain, forcing you to take a break.


Positive Affirmations

Tell yourself you can do it. We will tell ourselves why we cannot do something instead of how great we are. Revisit a recent success and how you overcame the challenge and turned it into a favorable situation.


establishing a writing process


Establish a Writing Process

Each writer handles their projects differently. Define the writing process that makes the most sense for you. Here is one that Imagine finds helpful.


  1. Define the topic.

  2. Identify the objective for the topic. What will your readers take away?

  3. Research the topic.

  4. Create an outline.

  5. Start writing. Save editing for the end.

    • Set it aside for at least 24 hours.

    • Reread it.

    • Make a round of edits.

    • Set it aside for another 24 hours.

6. Proof

  • Read the article out loud.

  • Spellcheck it.

  • Check grammar.

  • Does the article flow?

  • Is the objective met?

  • Have someone else read through it (that is unbiased)?

7. Publish


Enjoy the Writer's Journey

Enjoy the writing process. It is just that, a process. Know it takes time to complete a writing project. Believe in yourself and your ability to write. Accept the challenges, enjoy the journey, and most importantly, take pleasure in your work.


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