Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Breaking Writer's Block (Part 1: Losing Self-Doubt)

Today, and probably once a week from now on, I'd like to offer an exercise in escaping writer's block. I am currently taking two creative writing courses, and one of the many focuses of both classes is being able to tap into one's inner writer even when one is going through a fallow period or is in a place (physically or mentally) that may not have a particularly positive influence on one's creativity. Hopefully, it will give me lots of ideas that I can share with you. :-)

Exercise 1: The "I'm a great writer" exercise.

Many times when we have difficulty writing it's because we've started having doubts, feel used up after a previous work, or just don't feel like we have anything to say. This exercise reminds us that we do have something to say and pin points what it is that's blocking our creativity. The routine is simple:

Grab a piece of paper--this is more effective if you use a journal or notebook instead of a computer--and keep writing "I'm a great writer" over and over until something inside you tells you you're not. If you feel like this statement isn't working for you, try upping the ante until you get to where you need to be. "I'm a fantastic writer. I will be a published writer. My next work will effect _____. My ideas and thoughts are _____." Spend some time with each phrase, writing it over and over, and figure out where you stand. Do not, at any point, stop writing

When you finally reach a conflict, probe the antagonist. Write either solely from his/her/its point of view or from his/her/its point of view and then from your own combatant one.

While I was doing this exercise, I found myself becoming more and more adamant that I had something worthwhile to say. I was so determined to blow away the voice, that my writer's block didn't even matter anymore. It reminded me that I am a writer, and I can defeat any writing obstacle if I try hard enough. Then, I went on a writing streak, just to prove that darn voice wrong.

Hopefully, you will have equally beneficial results.

<3 Gina Blechman


  1. just need to take a walk or nap. :-)

  2. Great approach! I tend to wait it out. My blocks happen because my mind can't figure out what's wrong with what I've written.