Use these three activities to overcome writer’s block and get back in the writing game, with Shaun Levin
Writer’s block, the blank page, self-doubt, and fear are challenges every writer must learn to overcome. You may want to wait for inspiration to strike but that, more often than not, will lead to nowhere. In the words of E. B. White, the author of the classic children’s tale Charlotte’s Web, “a writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper”.
Shaun Levin (@shaun_levin) is no stranger to these difficulties but has still managed to write numerous novels, a collection of books on creative writing, and has even created a series of writing maps–illustrated creative writing prompts to inspire writers on the go.
In this tutorial, Shaun shares three simple activities to help you beat writer’s block!
1. Have a conversation with the page
We can often find it difficult to write when we take ourselves too seriously. Instead of viewing the page as your nemesis, Shaun recommends talking to it as you might a friend.
Give yourself permission to write anything with no judgment, no purpose, and no pressure. If nothing else, it will get your pen moving across the page but, with any luck, you may find something that inspires you.
This activity can last as long as you see fit. Shaun recommends doing it for around 15-20 minutes: that way, you’ve got enough time to get into a good flow and it doesn’t take up your whole day. If you manage to write every day for 20 minutes, in less than a year you’ll have more than enough writing to make a novel.
2. Get your doubts out
You may have lost faith in a story you’ve already started. This is totally normal. Writing is a long and solitary task and often the only voice we hear is our own. Getting any doubts that arise out of your head and onto paper will leave more mental space for your creativity.
Once your worries are on paper, they will feel a lot more manageable, allowing you to tackle what needs to be fixed and forget about the rest.
3. Turn those doubts around
Now it’s time to contradict those doubts and write out the opposite of the fears you just put to paper, as if filled with a newfound bulletproof confidence. Writing about how great you are may feel like you’re writing fiction, but isn’t that what you’re trying to do? Some of that fictional self-belief might even rub off on you.
Enjoy the game, play with your creativity and don’t forget: you’re writing to entertain yourself and explore new ideas.