With both spring and the new year finally off the ground, many of us are knee-deep into our newest writing projects. For many, hitting 1,000 words or that second chapter may seem like a small feat, but only we know the hard work and stress that goes into that much writing. And yet we continue to push ourselves further, taking on that challenge to move forward and make our writing better.
I want you all to sit back and think to the last time you had a bad case of writers block. And I’m not talking about a few days or even a few weeks where you just couldn’t make time to sit down and put your words on paper, or on-screen for that matter. I’m talking about that mind-numbing, anger inducing writer’s block that kept you from working on a project for weeks, months, or even longer. Did you ever get out of that funk? If so, what did you do to lift yourself up and out of it?
Let me share with you one of my tricks, and no, I’m not claiming that it’s my copyrighted trick either. Writers both old and new will tell you the same thing, when you’ve hit a brick wall in your work, move on to another project. Many find this task more than a little daunting, and rightfully so. Who wants to just up and leave behind something they’ve already put so much time and effort into? And while that’s a very legitimate thought, it’s also one that tends to make the writer’s block worse.
By worrying about walking away, it’s only going to create more pressure on you as a creator, therefore making that wall even harder to climb. That brings me to the point behind this rant. Once you’re sure you’re ready to take that step and walk away, you need to challenge yourself with something else.
As a writer, we know exactly what goes into creating something out of nothing. Fellow writer, Nu Tael couldn’t have said it better himself in a previous post:
“How do we start? One word at a time. Start small with your new story or new chapters.”
Challenge yourself to something new for every day you’re struggling through a bout of writers block. Write down whatever randomly pops into your head, or try challenging yourself to write something new daily. I know, easier said than done, right? Guess what, it’s not that hard, I promise! In fact, both Nu Tael and I are doing just that!
You may or may not have noticed that fancy little badge on our page for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. This is one of those daily challenges I was just talking about. For the month of April, each blogger chooses to write on a topic; but here’s the twist: for every day of the month (besides Sunday’s) the bloggers must write on a topic beginning with a letter of the alphabet. So beginning next Tuesday, April 1st, bloggers will begin writing about topics beginning with the letter “A”, then April 2nd will be the letter “B” and so on and so forth.
This is one heck of a challenge for any blogger and/or writer to take on, but speaking from experience, it can be so very rewarding! I participated in the challenge myself last year and yes, it was difficult, specially on those days when I just didn’t want to write. But once I hit the letter “Z” I couldn’t have been more proud of myself! The fact that I could make a post every day of the month, each with a different topic, was so amazing! Plus, I meet some wonderful people in the process… and that’s always fun!
So the point to this while little late night rant is this: the number one thing we can do as writers is to constantly challenge ourselves. Whether it be to help lift us up out of the dark depths of writers block, or even just to give us the inspiration for our next big project, challenging yourself is the thing that will make you a better writer.