Writer’s block strikes when you need it least. You have sat down to start working on a new piece, only to find your fingers hovering over the keys and nothing coming out. The inside of your head is empty and you fear you may even be able to hear crickets chirping in the background. No matter how long you sit there or how many half sentences you scrape out, you can’t get any further.
But what is the cause of all this? Only a few days ago you were overflowing with ideas, couldn’t wait to get started. So why are you all of a sudden as dry as the Sahara Desert?
It is a sad but true fact that when you sit down to write and find there is nothing, it is usually because of two things: fear and being drained.
The second of these, being drained, is usually easy enough to fix. You just need to step away from the computer, go for a walk, read something, do some light exercise, and soon enough your imagination will start to fill up again like a freshly turned egg timer. One by one ideas will drop through into your mind, and you will come back and be able to write.
The former of these, fear, is not so easy. First of all, there are so many types of fear: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of wasting effort, of proving your mother right when she said you should get a real job. Fear of what people will think, or of the moment when everyone realizes that you have been faking it for the past decade. All these prey on your mind and cause the ideas to scurry and hide before you can capture them.
Well banish all of these, for there is one solution to deal with nearly all these problems. It is possible to continue working, to lead a productive and happy writing life. All you need is: someone else to blame!
Think about it. If you sit down at the computer and nothing comes out, that’s no longer your problem! Instead, you can point your finger and say ‘well, at least I turned up to work. They, on the other hand, did not hold up their part of the bargain!’
This, my friends, is the ancient secret known as The Muse (or daemon or genius, they liked the concept a lot so spread it around). The ancient Greeks were on to something when they talked about these supernatural women. If an ancient writer turned out a piece of work not up to their usual standard, it wasn’t their fault. Everyone patted them kindly on the back and agreed that his muse had let him down.
No matter what sort of writing you do, be it steamy romance or financial reporting, a muse never goes astray. It is time to find your own. Mythical beings work well, as they are in the right realm to access the inspiration. However, the Egyptians were onto something with their cats. Every time you come to your desk and find your cat curled up on the keyboard, thank them for their bestowal of power on the keys, and feel free to kick them every time you can’t find the right words. (That will put a very quick end to not being able to find the right words).
Whatever you do, realize that your role is only to turn up and write. What is written is in no way your responsibility. This tends to kill writer’s block in an instant.