// May 10th, 2017 // On Writing

writers-block-1The only sure fire way to prevent writer’s block is to write. Plain and simple: you need to write. Writer’s block is a phenomenon where a writer loses the ability to produce new work. It can be incredibly intense: where writers are unable to work for years, and some stop writing altogether.

Here are 3 valuable tips on preventing writer’s block from taking over your passion.

3 Tips to Prevent Writer’s Block

1. Stop writing
2. Write something else
3. Write badly with pride

“Keep scribbling! Something will happen.” Frank McCourt

1. Stop writing.

To prevent writer’s block you need to write. But here is the contradiction to that obvious statement: stop writing before you have written all you needed to write.

End your session by writing the first sentence of the next scene, thought, transition or chapter. Then stop writing. It will be easier to continue your work because you will continue where you left off, instead of starting a new thought, scene, chapter or idea.

It is more difficult to get back to what you were working on by starting a new idea. If you have finished a plot point, scene, or idea sequence, starting the next session may be extremely difficult when you sit back down to write again. By constructing the first sentence of your next plot point, scene, or idea sequence before you stop, you will be continuing the thought the next time you write versus starting up a new one.

By writing till you have emptied yourself of prose and dialogue, your new writing session is like starting up from a dead stop. By coming back to your lead in sentence, you have already established momentum to continue and to produce new work.

2. Write something else

Take a vacation from what you are working on and do some free form writing. Create something new by using writing prompts to write a paragraph or two. Take a minor character and write about an incident he/she may have experienced that is outside the story line.

Write a technical piece of work if you are mainly a creative writer. Write a short story if you are a screenwriter. Write instructions on how to feed the dog if you are poet. Write the end of a scene instead of the beginning. Write a scene without dialogue and the same scene with dialogue. Whatever you do, write something different than what you are writing now. You get the point.

Allow yourself to branch out with this writing exercise before you lock up and freeze. When you are done, go back to where you left off and get your writing going again.

3. Write badly with pride

If there is one thing you should remember from these 3 tips it is this last one: Write badly with pride.

In the words of Eric Edson (MFA, WGA member, Screenwriter, UCLA screenwriting instructor, executive producer) he states: “Write badly with pride.
Believe it. Ranks right up there with “Structure, structure, structure,” and “write what you know.” So save yourself some grief. Learn it now.”

When your brain, and your ego, start getting involved, you may be trying desperately to write to perfection. The perfect scene, chapter or thought, could be the one thing preventing you from producing new work. Allow yourself the freedom to get all the ‘crap’ out of your brain by writing anything and everything as badly as you can. Many writers just stop writing once their brain starts demanding perfection. They freeze up and stop writing. Writer’s block.

The habit of always wanting to write the best that you can write, and then hearing that you should write badly, may be a hard concept for many writers to comprehend or even accept. If you allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the superfluous crafting of words, writing badly with pride can lead to your best work. Writing is rewriting, so in the end, your ‘bad writing’ can, or will, eventually be – perfect.

If you can form the habit to work these 3 incredible tips into your writing process, writer’s block will be prevented. Producing something new is the key to prevention, and with these tips, you are always writing something new – even if it is writing badly.

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