Writers Playing with Blocks

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The other day… UGH! Writer’s block!

We have all been there, the client or boss needs a document by the end of the day and you can’t even complete a full sentence.  Pressures are swelling and you feel stuck.  The blinking curser or ink spot from your pen resting on the paper are staring back at you with remorse.  What to write about? Where to begin?

How many people have been in this situation time and time again?

Wikipedia’s definition of writer’s block is enough to scare me:

Writer’s block is a condition, associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task in hand. At the other extreme, some “blocked” writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers.

Abandon my career, it was only one article or blog post, I promise.  With the constant pressures of new media, are we expected to write and have an opinion to share every day?  Some topics I am passionate about and can write for days but let’s be honest, in our profession you have to write some things you are not as emotional about.

In true writer’s block passion, I will keep this post short and leave the floor open for discussion amongst fellow PR pros.

What are your daily tactics to pull you out of a rut?  What is your advice for the not-so-eager writers?

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  • http://twitter.com/jessisjuicy Jess Greco

    Ugh, I feel your pain. This happens to me pretty much every day around 6 PM, when all I'm thinking about is heading home and having dinner. I lose my focus and my mind goes totally blank.

    Sometimes all it takes is me putting on my headphones, putting on the Coldplay station on Slacker radio and tuning out. Sometimes it's more severe and I have to put it off for the sake of whatever I'm writing.

  • heatherdueitt

    Thanks Jess. I am finding the listening to music really loud thing helpful lately. 6pm writing is the worse.

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  • Elisha Velez

    Ugh, I hate writers block. The only way I can deal with it, is to move on to another task and get my mind away from it.

    I eventually head back to the computer, bring up my word doc and write something. By something I mean anything reguardless if it sounds good or not, I just need something to start with so my page isn't staring back at me with its utter white blankness. Then I go back after the block has lifted and rewrite my opening statements.

    By the way, the definition scares me too. It makes me fear my next writers block. What if the next one lasts years?

    Thanks for the post.

    Best,
    Elisha

  • heatherdueitt

    Thanks for the suggestions Elisha. I really like how you write anything and go back later and rework the opening statement.
    Wikipedia means business with writer's block. They even cite certain authors who have gone on a hiatus for years upon years. Including one my of favorites, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

  • Nicole Smith

    A few writer friends have sung the praises of “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott who instructs you to write a shitty first draft among other practical & down-to-earth writing advice.

  • heatherdueitt

    Thanks Nikki. I'll have to check out that book sometime, or borrow it from you.

  • http://crackoutblackout.com/ HeatherHolloway

    This is a great post! I find that music helps me too. I have been listening to the same 4 albums when writing for the past 10 years. If I find myself at a loss for words I just press play on my writing mix and the furious typing starts. This past weekend I was at a coffee shop writing and I really liked the music they were playing so I didn't listen to my own. As a result I found myself to be uninspired and blocked. I am going to have to check out this “Bird by Bird” book. It sounds very interesting!

  • http://crackoutblackout.com/ HeatherHolloway

    This is a great post! I find that music helps me too. I have been listening to the same 4 albums when writing for the past 10 years. If I find myself at a loss for words I just press play on my writing mix and the furious typing starts. This past weekend I was at a coffee shop writing and I really liked the music they were playing so I didn't listen to my own. As a result I found myself to be uninspired and blocked. I am going to have to check out this “Bird by Bird” book. It sounds very interesting!