I belong to a number of Linked In and Facebook groups for writers as well as a local writers group and a national children’s writing group so I am in touch with lots of professional writers as well as many who write for pleasure with no thought of being published. A frequent complaint is that writers get writer’s block. If you sometimes suffer from this perhaps I can help? I am an NLP Master Practitioner and use NLP both in my own writing and to help others by coaching.
Here are some top tips.
1. Being a writer is your identity, it is not just ‘something I do’. You are a writer whether you write full or part time. Recognise this at a deep level that being a writer is who you are as well as what you do. You write because it matters to you and because it fulfills your sense of purpose.
2. Make your writing space work for you. Make it special and conducive to writing. Be able to close the door on distractions and own your space.
3. Make sure that you always have something to write on and with in your handbag or briefcase. You are a writer and you need to write. Sometimes you may be in the car waiting at the school, waiting for a train, on the train or plane. Use these times to write.
4. Visualise the block. What does it look like? Your thoughts control your behaviour so imagine the ‘block’ as something like jelly that you can easily overpower. Make it a colour you like and one that you are attracted to rather than one that threatens you.
5. Some writers have a problem starting a piece and sit staring at a blank screen. Start anywhere. It does not have to be the beginning, start half way through and add the beginning later.
6. Read! The more you read and enjoy words, the more you want to use them in your writing. Use a notebook to record words you have encountered in your reading. Take 6 of them at random and make up sentences from them. Then turn the sentences into a story. You’re writing now!
7. “I can’t think what to write” is a common problem expressed by writers. Challenge this inner dialogue by asking it “What if you could think what to write?” and then “What would it look like? What would it sound like? What would it feel like?”
8. Have ‘towards’ goals. Aim to write for a certain length of time or a certain number of words. Set the goal at a level you know you can easily achieve.
9. You DO have time to write. Delegate or dump things that have no value to you as a writer so you can do your writing.
10. Your thinking controls your actions. By thinking you have writer’s block you will make it a self fulfilling prophesy. Believe instead that you are a writer with something to write. Just DO IT. Trying to do it will not work as there is built in failure in the word ‘try’.
Judy Bartkowiak runs a Distance Learning course in NLP for Writers. Contact her now firstname.lastname@example.org or Skype her judy.bartkowiak to find out more.