Beat the Block: How to prevent failure and be motivated to write.

All writers have been there at some point. You pick up the pen, open up your laptop or refill your ink and nothing. A blank page staring before you. It might be that you have a ton of ideas and you just cannot place them altogether. Or if you are anything like me, you might be able to knock out a great first chapter and then be hit with the writers block. So how do you learn to fall in love with writing again?

#1 Know your Niche and play it to your strengths.

I can’t keep track on the amount of times that I have started a new project and have left it lying dormant. Crime novels, romance, film manuscripts, childrens books, I have started it all. When I was a child, I could write these sort of books within no time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you could guarantee the Book of Katie, Age 11 was. As I got older, I tried wattpad after wattpad. Short story after short story. Nothing clung, everything went dry. I realise now, it is because the world around me had become less of a fantasy. I became more interested in writing about real life then creating the lives of figures of my imagination. That’s not to say, I won’t ever write a novel again, but right now my focus has shifted. When you know your niche, the words will become much easier to flow. Seek inspiration from what you are attracted too most.

#2 Jot-a-lot

If your head is full of ideas, but no concrete sentances, write it all down anyway and keep writing. Some of your notes might be discarded in the future, but you will end up with a bunch which seem useful and you can expand on these as little and as often as you want. Writers Block is often perfectionism in desguise, but if you embrace the bad and ugly, you can always revise and make improvements. Think of it as a university or college essay, you probably would never sumbit your first draft, but you will still use the bulk of that text in your final version. Without any flaws, there is no room for consructive critism.

3# Prepare for failure?

So maybe not every piece of writing you do will be the next bestseller. Your next blog post might not gain you tons of followers. But who cares if you are doing something that you enjoy? If you write a great piece that you are interested in, then that’s what initially counts. If you want to make a career out of your writing, it might take a little bit more than that. Embrace the critique and try, try again. All writing is an opportunity to develop your writing skills.

#5 Write little and often

You might have a hectic schedule with work, family or other hobbies. You might finding yourself saying you just do not have the time to write. One way you can fit writing into your busy life, is by setting a goal of writing time for that week. It could be one day per week where you sit down and write for half an hour. Or five days a week where you write for five minutes. Whatever your time goal is, write as much as you can in that time without proof reading or getting hung up on the perfectionism idea. This way you will have a bulk of what you want to say and editing will be much easier in the long run as it is better to work from something rather than nothing. The time method, is more likely to work if you are setting a goal which fits in with your life.

#6 Let it lie

Some great books take years to write. This is because they most likely require a lot of thought, have a complicated plot or need extra inspiration. We know that having uncompleted projects in our heads, leads to procastination or feeling overwhelmed. But if a project is not really going anywhere, yet has potential, there is no harm in letting it lie. Set a deadline to come back and revise it in the future, even if it is six months to a year away. In this time, I recommend that you do your research. Read as much of that genre or books in general because it will help you develop your own writing in the long term. Write down noteable ideas there and then and save them for that rainy day in the future, when you feel like picking up where you left.

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