A Word on Writer’s Block - Uncharted

A Word on Writer’s Block

By Catherine Kenny

If your favorite thing to do is write, then why aren’t you writing? Think about how many words you’ve written, how many classes you have taken, how many chapters you could have if you only had started earlier…This is your passion! How hard can it be to type words onto a page? Just start!

This is an accurate glimpse into my mind as I experience writer’s block (and frequent bouts of procrastination). Writer’s block to me is a combination of the feeling of Sunday Scaries, scheduling a doctor’s appointment on the phone, and standing on a cliff with a fear of heights. Have no fear, Voyage YA is here to help you find the best ways to overcome writer’s block!

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind for the next time you need a push to start writing:

  1. Get some inspiration! Make a list of your favorite pieces, authors, or even words to set the tone for yourself. Transcribe an old video or tv show and turn it into something new. Google some common writing prompts to get started, and eventually work your way back to your intended writing. 
  2. Stop trying. Take a walk, call a friend, or try a warm bath. Sometimes, the best way to access your creativity is to let it rest and come back to it later. 
  3. Write something horrible! Make a list of rhymes or even a grocery list- you just need to start! Sometimes, the best medicine comes in the form of tough love, and I am here to prescribe you some. You can always edit work, but you cannot edit nothing. 
  4. Surprise yourself. Write outside if you always write at a desk, or vice versa. Handwrite instead of typing. Try a new writing schedule, or maybe abandon it altogether!

Though every writer experiences writer’s block, it is easy for me to feel isolated and lesser-than when it is my turn to draw a mental blank. If I can share nothing else with you, I would like to remind you that you are not alone, and that you deserve your place in this writing community, writer’s block and all! If you won’t take it from me, your humble Voyage Intern, then take it from some of the most accomplished writers and creators…

“The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are doing good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. 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.” –Ernest Hemingway

“Convince yourself that you are working in clay, not marble, on paper not eternal bronze: Let that first sentence be as stupid as it wishes.”- Jacques Barzun 

“Never mind the theme! Just write the movement.” –Dmitri Shostakovich

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