“The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.”
― Albert Schweitzer
Yes, it is often a case of mind over matter, except when our actions do not reflect the intentions of the words we send out into the world.
Make a promise to yourself? Hasn’t everyone you know, and if you’re truthful, haven’t you even made a promise to yourself that went unfulfilled? We do it all the time, with toss-offs like, “I’ll take care of it,” “Leave this to me,” and “Consider it done.”
Until it isn’t taken care of, it got left, it’s not finished, and considering it done didn’t necessarily get it done.
What happens when our actions and our words don’t match? We are lying to ourselves. This is the worst thing that can happen. When we make promises we need to keep them. When we state intentions with the force of resolution behind them, we need to ensure the intentions become fact.
Writer’s block is just that kind of a thing. Promises unfulfilled. Basically, it’s the road to hell, paved with all our good intentions. We tell ourselves “I’ll write more tomorrow”, or “I’ll make up for taking today day off by writing twice as much tomorrow.” It is true, I’ve done it myself. There is only one problem. Tomorrow never comes, it’s always today, and with each passing day, it becomes easier to give up writing.
This, my friends, is the true nature of Writers Block.
So, I bet you’re asking if there’s a cure. Not that I know of unless you simply avoid it in the first place.
I have not suffered recently, but in the past, I used NaNoWriMo to eliminate Writers Block.
What? Yes, it’s all about establishing a good writing habit and not breaking a writing streak. Do you know it takes twenty-one days to develop a habit? And a mere two days to destroy a one?
This might be why NaNoWriMo is so popular. It affords aspiring writers the opportunity to establish good (consistent) writing habits.
The goal is to write 1,666 words daily for a stretch of thirty days. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Does it also sound too good to be true? Many think it is, but the truth of the matter here is writing consists of multiple things besides putting the words on the page. Planning, plotting, organizing, outlining, research, character sketches, background examination, etc.
It does not consist of cleaning your office, stacking your notepads, sharpening your pencils and uselessly surfing the internet. In fact, I recommend not turning the internet on until you have completed the 1,666-word count for the day. Some call this mean, I call it motivation.
Of course, this is not written in stone. What is today? Nothing I can think of since Moses came down from the mountain.
I personally invest in the 2,500 per day theory, since I like to have weekends off. It’s a little harder to meet the word count, but it works for me. At the end of the month, the complete 50,000 first draft allows me to spend my time working on other writing skills, like editing.
If you think it’s not doable, remember what you believe is what’s true. So if you believe in writer’s block. . . Well, I believe it’s all in your head.