Sooner or later, every writer comes down with a case of the blahs. Whether it’s just a touch of writing feverishly or a full-blown rash of rejection letters, you -- and your writing -- both suffer. Fortunately, for the most commonly diagnosed writing ailments, there are quick cures to combat what ails you.
Diagnosis: Writer’s Block. Ugh. Every writer’s nightmare. We all know the warning signs: glazed-over expression, still fingers, and meandering daydreams. Writer’s block can result in anger, nervousness, lethargy, and overall dissatisfaction with your work. Some of the main symptoms of writer’s block include:
- Delays, Delays -- It’s easy to let life get in the way of your writing. If you think about everything else you have to do, it’s hard to focus on your work. So you put off writing until tomorrow... or next week... or never.
- Inspiration Deficiency -- You feel like you’ve “been there, done that” with everything you’ve already written. What’s next? So far, nothing.
- Jealousy -- Someone getting published should always be a happy occasion. But if that someone’s not you, you may begin to feel overlooked, resentful, and disenchanted with writing in general.
- While your writer’s block may be serious, there are simple remedies for your writing withdrawal.
1. If procrastination is your problem, the only way to fix it is to set aside time to write. Period. No excuses. Set a timer, sit down, and write (or stare at the blank screen) for at least twenty minutes a day. Sometimes just being there helps to get your creative energy flowing!
2. Not inspired? Take some time (even if it’s ten minutes) and go outside for a walk. Clearing your mind while discovering (or rediscovering) favorite locations might just be the thing that reawakens your muse!
3. Green with envy -- is so not your color. It doesn’t look good on you. Don’t give up because somebody else was published first. Instead, focus on your work and personal achievements.
Diagnosis: Self-Doubt. We’ve all wondered at some point: What if I’m not any good? A writer’s self-doubt is tough to overcome.
Remedy: Letting others evaluate your work is necessary for constructive criticism and growth as a writer. You can start small by having a close friend or relative read your work. Sure, they might give you flowery praise even if your work is flawed, but it doesn’t hurt to get some compliments! Taking that first step will give you the confidence to show your work to a broader audience. When you eventually work with a group (or better yet!) a publisher, you’ll be prepared to listen and implement comments with confidence in yourself and your writing!
Diagnosis: Impatient Attitude. We know, we know: You want your writing to reach as many readers as soon as possible. But impatience doesn’t just cause unnecessary stress -- it negatively affects your writing. Rushing will divert your focus from creating quality work to worrying about your typing speed. If you are hoping to become a published writer, your reputation is vital to your success; hurried work is noticeable to publishers and they will deny accordingly. Getting published is already tough work; self-sabotaging your chances makes it much more difficult.
Remedy: Take a chill-pill and relax, re-read, and rewrite. Take the time you need to achieve your goals without sacrificing quality!