Beat Writer's Block With Help From The 4 Elements

Beat Writer’s Block With Help From The 4 Elements


Beating The Imaginary Block

Writers are doing themselves a disservice when they perpetuate the myth of writer’s block. If writers want to be taken seriously, and, if writers want to be properly paid, they need to behave professionally.

There are four elements that help you succeed with everything you do. You have to consider your environment, your thought patterns, your practical application, and your inspiration. I use the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water to illustrate this.

Beat Writer’s Block With Help From The 4 Elements

1.    Earth – your environment

Consider your physical reality. Are you using this as an excuse? Are your excuses real or imagined?

  1. Stop using family as an excuse.
  2. Find the best writing environment for you – quiet room, a laptop anywhere, a favourite coffee shop.
  3. Use the best equipment for you – a pen and paper, a PC, a Dictaphone.
  4. Maintain discipline – tell your family/friends that you are working.
  5. Start a writing routine and stick to it – it’s work, not a hobby.
  6. Give yourself a deadline.
  7. Make a Do Not Enter sign for your writing room and pin it to the door.
  8. Learn how to say no.

2.    Air – your thought patterns

Consider what you want. Why do you want it? Can you do it? Stop waiting for that muse. You have to jump in the deep end.

  1. Writers always write – keep that diary.
  2. Draw on real feelings rather than experiences.
  3. Write for ten minutes without pause, even if the words make no sense.
  4. Write in a stressful environment for 10 minutes every day.
  5. Remember a time when you felt real joy and climb into that moment.
  6. Heal that hole in your soul by writing it out so that you can go on.
  7. Avoid the crowd. They will give unprofessional and often unsolicited advice.
  8. Avoid asking friends / family members to read your manuscript. They will never be entirely honest. More importantly, they don’t know what they’re doing!

3. Fire – your practical application

Consider how you might overcome obstacles in a practical way.

  1. If you’re stuck on a scene move to another.
  2. Leave a sentence uncompleted – you can fix it up later.
  3. Work with other people who write.
  4. Go on a creative writing course.
  5. Write something you’ve never written before.
  6. Write an article for a magazine on why you can’t write.
  7. Rewrite your main characters’ biographies.
  8. Rewrite a scene from one of your favourite books.
  9. Try writing a scene for another genre.
  10. Write in another viewpoint.

4. Water – your inspiration

Consider your soul for a moment. Do you really want to write? If you were to die tomorrow, would you regret not having written?

  1. Research something.
  2. Listen to music you enjoy or watch a film you love.
  3. Communicate with a writer who inspires you – it’s easy with the Internet.
  4. Read a book on how to write.
  5. Get off the Internet – read magazines, newspapers.
  6. Keep notebooks.
  7. Paint / draw / meditate.
  8. Join a book club – you’ll meet some interesting characters.
  9. Go to an astrologer / tarot card reader / psychic.
  10. Reinvent yourself – go bungee jumping, pick up that spider you’re afraid of, or talk to that stranger.

Take control of your writing and live your dream.

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

by Amanda Patterson

© Amanda Patterson

Photographs courtesy Fair Lady – How do you know he’s the one?

Are you looking for more inspiration? Read these posts:

This article has 0 comments

  1. Mukhtar Mukuddem

    Just what I needed to read tonight. I am 20 000 words into the NaNoWriMo challenge and seem to have hit a bit of a wall.

    I am now inspired again..thank you for the great tips.

    Back to the writing again – getting off the Interwebs now 🙂

  2. Writers Write

    Glad it helped!

Comments are now closed.