I struggle with writer’s block at least for a week every month. It’s excruciating, infuriating, and frustrating all at the same time. I literally sit at my desk for hours at end, staring at an annoying blinking cursor whose only job is to taunt me. I write a sentence or two, get angry at the crappy structure of it, and then delete it. Progress, if any, is sloooowww.
Several people have advised me on how to deal with writer’s block. Take a break away from the table. Walk the dogs. Find something to eat. Watch tv. Clean. Read. Breathe. Over the years, I’ve tried all sorts of approaches, and to an extent, nearly all have failed to solve my writer’s block. One time during my undergrad, it was so bad, I didn’t sleep for 4 days, surviving on a steady dose of red bull.
See the thing is, I’m don’t consider myself to be a natural writer. English is not my first language and my hearing loss coupled with my language difficulties that resulted from it sometimes make it hard for me to match what’s in my brain with what I want on paper (or the screen). There are times when writing one simple sentence becomes the most painful thing I encounter throughout the day. I actually started this blog as a way to escape from the prison of my head and just force the words to come out. This blog became my way of dealing with occasional bursts of writer’s block. For the most part, it has worked more so than any other strategy.
I think my problem resides in expectations, especially when it comes to rewrites. I’m always grateful for the constructive criticism and advise I get from editors, but honestly, there are times they only give me a panic attack. Today I spent five hours (!) and only wrote 168 words. Only half a paragraph. This frustrated me to no end.
I also know I’m not the only one there afflicted with this syndrome. How have you dealt with it? What finally gets you motivated enough to write for days at a time? For me, there will be a random moment not associated with my writing whatsoever when I finally get an “eureaka” moment and stay trapped in my room writing, writing and writing.
Right now, I’m eagerly waiting for that moment.