Effectively dealing with writer’s block

Here’s a few tips on how to face your writer’s block head on!

  • Acceptance is the first step towards healing –

We all need to be healed from time to time but how many of us accept what we’re experiencing isn’t normal? Do we always seek help instead of turning a blind eye to what’s draining us? Acceptance is the first step towards healing. Only later it becomes easier to identify the factors that are blocking our creativity.

  • Don’t mind the toxic people –

It’s alright if the people closest to us fail to make sense of the crumpled pages in our bins or why we spend hours working until midnight. We can’t expect every single person around us to understand the amount of efforts we put to chisel our poem before we take it to the stage. What isn’t acceptable is not taking a stand for what defines you. Don’t be a people-pleaser to the point where everyone around you makes it a habit to discourage you every now and then. It’s your responsibility to defend your love for what means the world to you.

  • Do not ill treat yourself –

We often underestimate how losing track of basics like sufficient sleep, proper diet, and a little exercise could impact our creativity. Remember every time you skip a meal, you’re starving a poem too. No matter how hard you hustle, don’t compromise on what’s important for a temporary fix. Besides, every hour of your day is too precious to be wasted in holding onto incidents beyond your control. Learn to let go off those things. Don’t hesitate from seeking help when you’re in dire need of it.

  • Attend poetry workshops –

Understand new skills, try different exercises, learn techniques you haven’t explored yet and be open to absorbing new things. Interacting with like-minded people and exchanging your ideas could do a lot more than ridding yourself off a writers’ block. But most importantly don’t think of it as a task. Enjoy the process and have fun. That’s how you nourish yourself.

  • Be a part of the audience –

How fair is it on our part to expect support and love from the audience when we’re not willing to be a part of it in the first place. It’s always a two-way street, isn’t it? On the other hand, being unable to write a new poem in weeks doesn’t make you any less eligible to watch other poets perform. In fact, keeping yourself immersed in the poetic atmosphere helps a lot more in refueling your creative juices faster than you could imagine.

  • Search new venues –

If you come across a new venue that has recently started hosting poetry events in your locality, go and explore it. Plunge yourself in the ambiance of the new place, notice the way it’s hosted, enjoy listening to new poetry and maybe try a new meal too. At times, getting involved in the discussion, the frolic and the activities could be as exciting as participating yourself. So, go easy on yourself, be persistent and make the weekend adventurous in your little ways. You just might find your muse when you’re least expecting it.

  • Enroll yourself in online poetry courses –

As of today, there are several reputed universities across the world that offer certified courses in not just poetry but several other forms of writing. Thousands of people prefer to access study material online, download exclusive content, attend webinars, post in genuine forums, get their works reviewed, interact with diligent faculty and enroll in certified exams. If we make ourselves accessible to something so large, the possibilities are endless. We’re bound to learn so much more from countless people across the globe, if we realize the bigger picture.

Here are a few to get you started:

CalArts: http://bit.ly/calarts-sv

ModPo: http://bit.ly/modcopo

Eng101: http://bit.ly/rom-po

OpenYale: http://bit.ly/engl-310

  • Read and explore –

Take the time to visit different book stores and libraries across the city. Watch out for book fairs, exhibitions and other such events where books are sold at discounted rates. Exchange and circulate interesting books among your friends that really touched you.

Try attending a book launch and a meet and greet with a writer you always admired. Save up some money and travel to a literature festival in the nearest city to participate, volunteer and cherish an experience that would stay with you for life. Utilize a big chunk of your internet time for reading/watching incessantly every single day. Don’t let your appetite for reading satiate so easily.

  • Start maintaining a daily journal –

Start afresh and with something easier. But keep a clear intention that you intend to write at least a paragraph every day. Take a break after a few lines if you need. It’s not a test. You aren’t competing with anyone and there are no records to be set. You’re just having a conversation with the paper just the way you’d have with a close friend. Give yourself the sufficient amount of time to finish it. But please do. And eventually make it a habit. Keep scribbling in your leisure. It will help regularize your thoughts and help you become a keen observer.

  • Try a different art form –

Grab a ballpoint pen and doodle something that catches your attention at the back of your book. Or maybe click a picture and try jotting a few lines about it. Did the words come to your mind far easily? Yes, of course they did. That’s because you invested more time and energy in understanding your subject more closely. Keep finding excuses to let this electricity keep flowing through you.

  • Take a break and travel –

A monotonous work-life balance could leave us with very little, or no space to keep ourselves pumped with enthusiasm. Sometimes all we need to do is a break to remind ourselves of our true creative potential.

  • Give yourself the time you need –

Your writer’s block certainly didn’t hit you out of nowhere like a meteor and crippled you off your abilities to write. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a process that continued to take its toll on your creativity when you were busy ignoring the details of your life that you assumed were trivial. In a similar manner, there’s no magical potion to reverse it instantly. It requires time to rectify the odds and learn to revive yourself physically and mentally.

So be patient while you find your own ways to heal and rediscover your passion for writing. It’s neither a therapy you need to undergo nor a battle that you need to fight. It’s a journey that would help you become more self-aware, compassionate and positive. Trust me once you’ve learnt your lesson, you’d arise stronger than all and you’d feel contented than ever.

– Anuj  Mahadik

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