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Overcoming writer's block

Overcoming writer’s block

Writing Skills training Melbourne

Writing Skills training Melbourne

It was Einstein who coined the infamous phrase: Creativity is 95% perspiration and 5% inspiration.

I am often asked for advice on how I overcome writer’s block. That infuriating feeling of staring at a blank piece of paper with pen poised (or empty screen) waiting for the words to flow. Yet instead of inspiration, nothing comes except procrastination, consternation and frustration.

The harder you push the harder it becomes to begin. Here’s what to do. Put down your pen or switch off your computer and walk away. Let go.

I believe the solution is unique for every individual but essentially it is about tapping into your own private creative process.

Activating the creative process

For some that may mean mind-mapping and others visualisations. For me, it is an almost contradictory process involving both discipline and letting go.

I find it very powerful to invest time in research and thinking about the relevant topic or issue only then to walk away and do something completely different and let the creative process take over.

It may involve doing some exercise, washing the dishes or any other mundane repetitive activity that rarely requires too much brain power.

While your conscious mind is distracted, your subconscious mind has an opportunity to process your thoughts and come up with the idea, inspiration or clarity you seek.

There is no definite turnabout time on when it delivers, however you should find yourself both surprised and pleased by the results.

Determination and discipline

Never confuse the creative process with avoidance techniques or bone idleness.

Achieving the 95 per cent perspiration ratio requires discipline and consistency.

In time you will learn to distinguish between the times you need to take a breather and when you simply need to push on until you achieve a breakthrough.

While awaiting divine inspiration, perhaps focus on the easier aspects of your project by doing the stuff you know well until you regain the confidence in your writing.

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