Holli Dawson is a writer and artist living in Michigan with her long-suffering partner, Steve. Alongside her creative output, she also writes on behalf of a few companies including a major moving quotes provider.
The phenomenon known as writer’s block is something that we will all likely feel we are up against at one juncture or another, though the definition of the term itself if wide open to debate. However, regardless of personal standpoint the fact of the matter is that writer’s block is essentially a form of advanced and self-perpetuating procrastination that is as annoying as it is preventable – which is 100%. There are abundant guides out there for weird and wonderful ways of preventing a bout setting in in the first place, but the following is a crash course that uses no tricks, no spiritual nonsense and nothing that literally anyone cannot manage to pull off:
1. Definition – The fact that the problem has an official title is the biggest
problem in its own right, as once something has a name it becomes the
scapegoat for everything. An odd memory lapse, inability to concentrate,
wandering mind or procrastination is not a disease or even a malaise,
but is something that happens to everybody everyday and should not be
made into the issue that it is not.
2. Triggers – Each and every person has their own triggers for running their
thought processes and concentration, therefore identify as many of these
as possible and eliminate them all within reason. It is also essential to
accept that there will always be distractions so do not expect to be able
to work in a vacuum.
3. Realism – There is no person in any position at any level that does not
have the odd off day here and there, or perhaps even the odd hour of
downtime each day. For any person to assume that they can perform
their job flawlessly every day and never hit the proverbial brick wall is
ludicrous – therefore when the brick wall does present itself, just accept
you are human after all instead of panicking.
4. Rewards – Very silly in the eyes of some though a fundamental to others
– if working on a project or piece that is likely to take an extensive
amount of time, establish a personal set of rewards or incentives for a
certain block of time. One hour of work could equal a ten minute walk or
something slightly more delicious, but whatever the choice, remember to
reward hard work…not simply punish the contrary.
5. Outside Help – If genuine stuck or unable to get started, instead
of ignoring the phone or locking the office door, try welcoming
the comments and thoughts of others. After all, they may not be a
professional on the subject at hand but this does not mean their thoughts
won’t be truly insightful.
6. Plan Ahead – It may seem something of a pessimistic approach to plan
for the worst in case it should come about, but a realistic and toned-
down alternative can be hugely useful. Never expect to fail, but instead get out of the mindset of expecting perfection the very first time. The
pressure such a mindset has the potential to relieve is simply enormous
and can breed inspiration the natural way.
7. Abolish Can’ts – While it could be classed as an idealistic way of looking
at things, the simple truth of the matter is that anything and everything
can be impossible if the person in question believes it to be. In short, if a
person believes something incredibly simple is impossible, it will become
so as they will make no real effort to do it. Never approach any task with
such an attitude – even a ‘Wow, this might be very difficult!’ mindset it
far more productive.
8. Independence – If the reason for the bout of procrastination is the
thought that the results being produced may not measure up to the
expectations of others, this can be a recipe for long-term disaster. It is
impossible to accurately see anything through the eyes of others and
therefore that has the potential to leave a person striving for a goal they
can never reach. Establish realistic personal goals in advance and never
let another’s views even enter into consideration.