Hi there, my lovely literaries! It’s been a while, sorry about that. But with finals and my last semester finally behind me, I should be able to get back into a regular routine of uploads.

This weeks main focus is writer’s block; we’ve all experienced it, we all hate it, but it just keeps coming around. A couple of years ago, I had a professor tell us that “In this class, there’s no such thing as writer’s block.” Given that it was a creative writing class, I see where he was coming from: he didn’t want us all to try to use that as an excuse to not write. However at the time, that was terrifying to hear. Now, I’ve got my own view of the subject and have come to terms with the fact that while writer’s block is very real, it’s no excuse not to write.

There are numerous ways to beat writer’s block, but they all take determination.

  1. Try writing a different scene. Nowhere in the laws of writing does it say that you have to write in order from the beginning to the end. Don’t worry about organization until after you’ve got it written, focus on the act of writing.
  2. Free write. This is one of my favorite techniques because I absolutely love to free write. Don’t worry about mistakes or errors or even if it matches the tone of the rest of the paper or story, just write. It’s difficult at first, but once you find your groove, it can be one of the most freeing sensations in the world. Some of my best work has come from me sitting down and just writing whatever came to mind. You can time yourself, you can even write with a theme in mind, the important thing is just to write.
  3. Once of the students in the Creative Writing Club at my university said that if you’re experiencing writer’s block, the issue is usually about ten sentences up. So take a step back, and look through the last 2-3 paragraphs and see if something isn’t quite working like it should be. Go through it step by step and see if something stands out to you that doesn’t fit well with the rest of the scene.
  4. Edit. Sometimes writing just doesn’t happen and that’s okay, but don’t give up. Work on editing, try revamping that one scene that’s been giving you fits or going through and doing Macro and Micro editing (macro: the flow and fit of the work as a whole, micro: grammatical and language). Just because you have writer’s block doesn’t mean you can’t still be productive.
  5. Write something that’s only partially related. If you’re writing a story, try writing your characters in a completely random scene just to see how they react. For example: they’re in a convenience store and someone comes in with a gun, what do they do? This technique also helps you get to know your characters a little better. If you’re writing an essay or piece of non-fiction, try writing something that maybe interests you regarding the topic but you don’t think will make it into the final product. Just because you write it, doesn’t mean the world ever has to see it, it can be just for you.

Writer’s block is something everyone has struggled with at one time or another, it makes the task of writing incredibly daunting and almost impossible to focus on. But with determination and a few life hacks, you’ll be back on your literary feet in no time!

Stay lovely,
Mary Knutson

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