After a hiatus of more than a year, I am back to blog writing and I am having cold feet. I stared a blank screen for some time, wrote a few words, deleted them, wrote again just to delete and caught myself in a monotonous cycle of writing and deleting. In between, I checked my mails, made some phone calls and by mere accident heard the clock ticking. Dang! This hinted at my approaching deadline that I had set for this blog post. I began to write — whatever came to my mind, and churned out the first draft of this blog before I hit the deadline.
As they say, the first draft is always difficult and I am happy that I could make it. After all, I was not pinned down by the dreaded writer’s block or bouts of laziness (at least for me, there is always a thin line between laziness and writer’s block! But, who cares? I overcame both!). I have realized that it is not my writing skills that were getting in the way of the writing. Rather, it was my low level of confidence that was holding me back all this time!
Now that I have made a stunning discovery (for me, it’s really a discovery), I have figured out a few ways that can give you a shot in the arm to overcome writer’s block or laziness or a “period of doubt” (call it whatever you want) and help you to get back into the writing saddle.
Here are 10 tips to beat a writing roadblock:
1. Read: Reading not only helps you expand your horizons, it also helps you to learn from others’ mistakes and experiences. And, you can definitely apply these in your writing, when you are short of ideas.
2. Connect: Connecting with like-minded people will help you gain support in your endeavour. Make use of the positive energy that you receive from others to let your creative juices flow.
3. Motivate yourself: When you are in a “period of doubt”, the best you can do is to motivate yourself. Go down the memory lane and find the real reason why you took writing as your profession. Rekindle that passion to weave magic through words. And, most importantly believe that you can write.
4. Talk: Share you enthusiasm about your writing projects with your friends, family and peers. It’s good to know their opinion as this will help you to believe in your writing style. Saying this, this is high time to get back to the writing part.
5. Write every day: Though I didn’t do this before, henceforward I will spend at least half an hour every day writing— writing whatever comes to my mind in the form of a blog or a journal. I am sure this will keep any roadblocks away.
6. Improve your focus: If you are unable to sit down without getting distracted, try to understand the causes. Is it emails or text messages or your Facebook and Twitter updates that you continuously (and unknowingly) check every 10 minutes? Identifying these “little addictions” that steal your time will help you to get over them altogether.
7. Make a draft: No one has ever written anything in one go, except in an examination hall. Hence, write whatever comes to your mind, go with the flow. It might read terrible, but you can always work on it later (the very next day is highly recommended).
8. Understand: Understand your writing project and your target audience. Based on this, develop a style and find a tone. Do not just write to “get over with it”. Take your time, take small breaks but never indulge in those “little addictions”.
9. Be open to feedback: Do not cringe at the idea of being criticized. Think of feedback as the opinion of your beautician suggesting you to go for a new hairdo or a hair spa or a manicure. Use the feedback to feed it into your writing and improve upon it.
10. Overcome fear: Now here is what they call “a moment of truth”: an amalgamation of risk and reward and you find yourself in a “to publish or not to publish” situation. But when you’ve crossed all your ‘t’s and dotted your ‘i’s, why wait and waste a moment’s time? It’s better to take the plunge than to never publish!