I’m a freelance writer and I have a certain amount of articles I have to write on a weekly basis so I encounter writer’s block regularly. While I am in the process of relaying my words I don’t think of it as a whole piece. I think of it as a therapeutic process. It is after re-reading my paragraphs that I start to analyse whether there is a rational flow and if it is relaying the emotions I have/had while writing it.

Writing before writer’s block

Writing has always been precious to me but only in the last few years has it become a valuable outlet for my thoughts and feelings, questions even. Philosophical conundrums, internal conflicts and the need to share the lessons learned in order to affect change in someone else. When I hear feedback, it’s exhilarating. Simply to know that you have managed to entertain/motivate/or challenge people with the words that you put out.

I believe it’s quite impossible to write without a purpose. Even if you write because you are bored. There’s already a motive in your writing; to alleviate yourself of that boredom. You are now writing to entertain, even if it’s to entertain only yourself. The only issue that really comes with doing this is that you will experience a lack of ideas at some point. It’s not a lack of motivation. You are keen to type, keen to create but it has to be something new and original. Not a previous piece you’ve written before that has been rehashed where it contains the same message with a different arrangement of vocabulary.

Writer's block at the desk

What to write

Nor ought it to be something you are acutely aware of is already out there, been covered in full where you have nothing new to add. No one wants to parrot knowingly. Whether it is brand new insight or simply taking an alternative angle, you want to introduce something original. I ask you this; how many times have you read lists of ‘how to be positive’? And how often has one-piece moulded into another one you read just the day before?

It doesn’t mean the writer didn’t work hard. Nor does it mean that a reader is not going to get anything out of it. It simply means that you and your writing won’t stand out, which, as a writer is detrimental. Your style of writing is something like your DNA. It has to be yours and yours only and people have to be able to coin it under your name and recognise it as yours.

A constant obstacle

So when faced with the issue of writer’s block for fear of repetition, it is a roadblock I hit regularly. I tend to think I’d much rather write nothing than contributing some cheap replica of copy that is already out there. So, much like any other creative individual, I look for motivation when faced with writer’s block. The closest source is the internet.

So I google for ideas or even remedies for writer’s block. None of them are topics or solutions that work for me or I can relate to. For me, if I find a concept that I can use I will have an anecdote to use and follow through the entire article in the first few minutes. This is because the concept speaks to me because of the anecdotes. For me, anecdotes are merely the reason behind why certain topics appeal to me. The act of putting it into words follows. If they don’t come in naturally, the topic probably isn’t for me.

So you read other articles, you read inspirational quotes and listen to music in an effort to counter writer’s block. While you are enjoying all these things, it doesn’t do the thing that you meant it to. No potential trigger of ideas is. So I do what I am doing now. I describe the process and struggle of writer’s block. I’m writing something and at some point, it will lead me somewhere, like a piece of the very wall I’m trying to break through.