By: Trish Lee
Anyone who has written has experienced the inevitable “writer’s block”. You are sitting at the computer or have a blank sheet of paper in front of you, desperate to pour forth greatness onto the writer’s version of a blank canvas. Your brain is screaming, “I don’t know what to write!” You are not alone. It happens to all writers. It happened to me when I sat down to write this article. Whether you are a veteran writer or a novice, fret not. Here are three simple steps you can use to move past the writer’s block and get back on task.
1. Set a time to write and stick to it – It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. Take fifteen minutes in the morning while you drink your coffee. Or wait until the kids have gone to bed. Whenever you feel the most alert. Pick a time and schedule it on a regular basis to sit down and write.
2. Pick the low-hanging fruit – Whether you are writing a memoir, a business report or an instruction manual, the best place to start is the easiest place. What are you most comfortable with? What subject is floating around right there at the top of your brain that you could just skim off the surface and put it down on paper? Choose the easiest topic to write about. This may be difficult for the personality type that eats, sleeps and breathes order, but try it. It will be more productive than working on that outline for the next three weeks.
3. Just do it! – Borrowed from the Nike campaign, but it really works. You have set your time and picked your topic. Now it is time to write. Just sit down and free-write about your subject you have chosen at your chosen time. Don’t think about grammar or context. Just write. Grammar, context and all the other structural aspects of writing can be addressed later during the editing process.
Writer’s block can be admittedly frustrating, but it can be easily overcome. While it may seem “too easy” to follow these three steps, stick with it. You never know when, nestled somewhere amidst the low-hanging fruit, you will find the nugget around which you will craft your next masterpiece.
You have your marching orders! Go write!