Coping with a loved one’s illness has caused me to experience a long spell of writer’s block. Every writer knows what this feels like and that it’s tough to wriggle free.
I haven’t even picked up a book in over two months. I’ve been reading newspapers but that’s enough to send anyone into a deep depression. I think I might also have the post-Christmas winter blues and there’s still two months left to go. Whinge. Whinge. Whinge.
The irony is that in order to write you need to live but sometimes life gets in the way of your writing.
So what can I do?
Firstly, I’ve decided to write about my writer’s block to get me writing again. Apart from scribbling a few letters and Christmas cards, my creative juices have well and truly dried up.
I’ve also had a look online to see what sage advice there is. There’s plenty.
Tips for overcoming writer’s block:
1. Implement a writing schedule
2. Don’t be too hard on yourself
3. Go for a walk
4. Do something to get the blood flowing
5. Eliminate distractions
6. Call an old friend
7. Read a book
8. Change your environment
I’ve tried a few of these but it’s difficult to stick to a writing schedule when your world has been turned upside down. And eliminating distractions is impossible when the main distraction is ongoing and out of your control.
Then the beautiful and talented actor Meryl Streep said something that struck a chord with me: “As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, ‘take your broken heart, make it into art’.”
A few simple words and the best advice I’ve heard yet.
Streep was referring to the current political climate in the United States when she made her eloquent speech. I’m going to take those words and use them at a more personal level to help me move forward.
It may take me a little while to get back on track but I’m determined to make it happen.
Maybe that’s it. The best tip for overcoming writer’s block is determination, resoluteness, perseverance, willpower. Pick your favourite noun, quit the whinging and get on with it.