“I deal with writer’s block by lowering my expectations.
I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write
and imagine that you will achieve something magical
and magnificent — and when you don’t, panic sets in.
The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you
will achieve something magical and magnificent. I write
a little bit, almost every day, and if it results in two or
three or (on a good day) four good paragraphs, I
consider myself a lucky man. Never try to be the hare.
All hail the tortoise.”
My theme for this year’s A-Z April Blogging Challenge is motivational quotes for writers and creatives working on ambitious, long term projects like writing a book.
Today, we address B for Writer’s Block.
Not unsurprisingly, Writer’s Block is almost synonymous with writing and volumes have been written about strategies for overcoming block and keeping the flow going and even overflowing.
What doesn’t get talked about and is equally important for many writers and creatives, is creative overflow. I’m not sure if you’ve ever experienced overflow but it’s when the creativity takes off and becomes all consuming, making it difficult to attend to the necessities of life and especially switching the idea off, slowing your brain down and trying to to get to sleep.
The aim therefore, especially when you’re working on a big, long term project like writing a novel or any kind of book, is to somehow tread the balance between the two. Stimulate yourself enough to get things moving, but if you’re prone to overflow, you might need to take deliberate steps to de-stimulate yourself. I find going for a walk can help keep myself on an even keel.
I also liked the above quote from Malcolm Gladwell because I think anyone trying to write a book has to have high expectations, yet at the same time lower those expectations to get through all the grind which goes along with it and to ride through the ups and downs involved.
By the way, I strongly recommend reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers. The really spoke to me, was the 10,000 hour rule which argues that 10,000 hours of considered practice are required to reach the top of your field. Or, as we have always been told: “practice makes perfect”.
How to you deal with writer’s block? Have you ever experienced writer’s overflow? I’d love to hear from you.