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You have created the perfect setting to start writing. Your laptop is charged, the coffee is hot, and for old school inspiration, the writing pad is right by your side. But the moment you sit and stare into the canvas, your mind goes blank.
The phenomenon of writer’s block is a notion that is often romanticized. However, to a writer, it is on top of the list of most dreaded nightmares. The right phrases seem to elude you, and even with a mind full of ideas, the content does not evolve well.
It is somewhat relieving to know that even the famous writers who took the world by the storm had faced the same issue.
In this article, we are scrutinizing the wise words of some renowned authors who seem to have got through their inspiration well drying up. Their stories will undoubtedly help you find a spark.
Ernest Hemingway on Writing
This 20th-century author needs no introduction. A man who has inspired the world with his words and won many accolades for it. He also did one grand thing for the writing community by jotting down his reflections on the nature of the process.
Hemingway’s book On Writing has many insights for authors. One of his most valuable strategies is not to continue when you have a good flow going. This will help you know what to write when you get back to the process the next day.
In his words, “That way, your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it, you will kill it, and your brain will be tired before you start.” That exceptional technique will never leave your mind blank. By keeping ideas in reserve, you are more likely to be excited to pick up from where you left off the next day.
Mark Twain on Outlining
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, famously known by his pen name Mark Twain has a very simple and straightforward suggestion on how to move forward when you are stuck. To paraphrase his famous quote, Mark Twain states that his secret of getting ahead is in the first step of getting started.
You can do this by splitting your main task into multiple smaller ones. Starting with outlining will serve as the first step. It is a great option not only for aspiring professionals but also for students struggling to complete their abundant academic papers.
If in need, every learner can look up an outline example of an essay or a storyline to get an idea of how to proceed. This will adroitly improve your writing as well as push up your pace.
Orson Scott Card on Reinventing
In an interview given to the online magazine Fiction Factor, the American writer Oscar Scott Card mentioned the following. For him, writer’s block is a sign that his mind is unhappy with the writing he has done.
His approach is to go back on what he has written and make it more appealing or believable in the best sense.
For Card, forcing your way out of the block will not bring any exciting material. Forcing yourself to write through this block won’t work for you or the reader.
With this in mind, if you are facing such an issue, you might want to go the last work and see if there is scope for improvement. Once you start working on the previous pages, the rest might fall into place.
Maya Angelou on Perseverance
Contradicting Orson Card’s thought process, the beloved poet Maya Angelou said her perception was to force oneself through it. Continue working, even when there are no excellent results.
Angelou recommended the mere act of putting pen to paper, or these days, to continue typing to create words as long as it takes to form meaningful sentences. This strategy will enable you to meet any required word count.
It is always possible to come back to the text produced and make it better, and as we all know, that’s when the real magic happens.
Dean Koontz on Overcoming Fear
The hesitation to write might be caused by your inner barriers. Fear could be one of the main reasons for it.
The fear of not writing a good novel, the fear of being ridiculed, or the fear of being unaccepted – all these are only a few factors that could constitute a long list.
The famous mystery writer Dean Koontz says that the great works emanate from the agonizing and exhilarating moments. But as you would ordinarily think, it does not have to be from experience.
It could be realizing moments when the writer becomes aware of one’s limitations. Overcoming them might surprise you and make you humble at the same time. Consider your constraints as motivation and enjoy the act of writing.
As discouraging as it is, writer’s block does not have to be arduous. It might even be your body and brain signaling you to take a break. The inspiration might strike just about when you are to give up.
There is no need to be a ferocious writer every single day. Experiment a little to reach a rhythm in your writing mode and see which process might work out most suitable for you.