Ever wanted to write but can't figure out how to get started? Or have you hit the infamous writers block and daydream about writing but can't figure out how to put the words to the paper (or the screen)?
Well, I've been in that very same situation. All my life I wanted to write, and I kept finding distractions. Then, when I had time to really commit to the writing, nothing happened!
I had a decade long writer's block. It was awful. However, I've overcome that block. Finally.
Here are the ways I overcame the writer's block, and I hope they can help you too.
1/ Even when I could not get in the right headspace to write, I made sure I thought about writing by: READING.
I read about writing. I read Stephen King's 'On Writing', and Ray Bradbury 'Zen in the Art of Writing'.
I read fiction. But not the fiction that the academics told me to read, or the newspapers reviewed, or anything on the top 100 list or top 10 list or any list. I read fiction that I wanted to read. For me, that is Fantasy and Science Fiction.
This helped me overcome writer's block because before I had been reading what I thought I should read, rather than what I wanted to read.
2/ Listening to podcasts and watching documentaries.
I listen to 'Writing Excuses' - you can hear them on iTunes, or google them and listen from their website. They have 15 minute sections on issues in writing for writers. They are all published authors themselves.
I watched interviews and documentaries on youtube about writers that I am interested in.
3/ Ignore the academics. Those who can't, teach. Not only must you ignore the potential for being criticised, but also ignore that the critics exist, otherwise you'll find yourself writing for them instead of for yourself.
4/ Write for your self. What are you interested in writing. What do you enjoy writing. What would you like to read more of. What is fun for you to write. Don't write with the intent of showing anybody. Write for the sake of writing. Write something, then put it aside. Then write something else, and so on.
5/ Write every day. This can be a word limit or a time limit. For me I started with word limits but I found those limiting. So now I sit in my writing space for two one hour patches each day. I don't have to write. But I can't do anything else. I have no phone there, no internet, no books. All I have is my laptop (which is only used for writing, nothing else), a note pad and a pen. I don't have to use them for that patch of time, but I will otherwise just be sitting there doing nothing, so I end up writing, or at least writing notes on ideas, brainstorming.
6/ Fill the jar. I have three large jars filled with small pieces of paper that each have a short story idea. So, I know that when I do sit down for my writing sessions and I can't think of what to write, then I can did my hand into those jars and pick out an idea. I have been filling those jars from three years. So, for the time when I had writer's block, I still had a brain, I could still form opinions, and I could still make observations, so I jotted those down onto small scrap paper, jammed them into my pocket, and when I got home I jammed them into the jar, to write about, or not write about, in the future.
The results of my six points. For me, I have gone from not writing, to sitting down twice a day for one hour each, and writing a short story each week.