Nothing impedes a writer or journalist like finding oneself descending into writer’s block. Terrible. Awful. The. Words. Won’t. Budge. You can’t write a thing. Rubbish. Terrible. Nothing. Nope. Nope. Nada. Boring. Sheesh what even is that sentence. Oh god I hate this character. What even am I doing. How could I ever. Oh god what is this topic. No one wants to read that. What. Is. Awful. This. Writing.
Really, how does one cure it? Well, I have seen many, many guides online and in books. Most contain lots of tips to kickstart your thinking; prompts, exercises, extensive or entirely specific journaling, intense faux-mystical breathing. In and out. In and out. Walk away, come back. Throw your laptop or typewriter (oh ho we’re really going old school, let me get my inkwell and pen) out the window, retrieve it and apologize thoroughly. Fifty intense mental push-ups, five games of finger football and then building an incense altar to the Muses or for some of you dear writers, more…lascivious gods. These guides hope that once one has completed said rituals (the above is paraphrased, the true rituals can last over 5 hours depending on which methods and books you choose), one’s writing ability is would be gloriously restored. Words return and flow. The Muses (from Hercules) now appeased appear and sing gospel in your ear. Plot rolls onwards and bends to your will. Characters die beautifully. Everything is right with the world!
Well, quite frankly all that is fine. That’s dandy stuff. Really it is. But for me, yes, for me, I find they all miss the biggest piece of advice and in my opinion perhaps the best thing to do when combating writer’s block. The secret to combating writer’s block? I give three key points:
1. Accept it and succumb.
2. Accept it and succumb.
3. Accept it and succumb.
Yes. That is the key. Accepting it is the best key. Yes. Let go of trying. Let go the want, and the need to write. Plot? Who cares. Character being a pain in the ass? Pft let them be. Article not writing itself (say what?), fine let it be awful or just go unwritten. Let the writer’s block seep around your ankles, let it rise and consume your legs, and up around your entire body. Laugh as deadlines tick closer and closer. Lie back and fall into the soft, rippling dark waters of writer’s block and complete inability. Yes. Let it all go.
Once writer’s block has successfully, entirely pulled you under, filling your lungs and effectively drowning you, only then will one see the golden light of inspiration. I have died a literary death quite often in this manner, dragged down by a siren grip, only to be reborn with much better facilities. It’s always darkest before dawn and all that wonderful stuff. It’s like you are a literary phoenix, well if a phoenix was more like a fat little quail.
So yes, dear writers out there if you are ever plagued with tied up words and limp noodle inspiration or incentive; throw out all those yoga and tantric breathing whilst journaling underwater for writers and… just embrace it and let it suffocate you, entirely.
Staff Writer/The Doctor