Tips may provide relief to writer's block
March 16, 2001
Ever since I was young, the writing bug bit me and I have been writing
from that moment on. But the truth is that sometimes it is not always easy.
I have been coming down occasionally with the worst disease that anyone
who loves to write comes down with: I am a victim of writer's block.
It all started my freshman year when I was taking creative writing with
Carol Fetty (God bless her soul). I started to write poems. I wrote a short
story. I even wrote the beginnings of a novel that is still buried somewhere
in my computer files. But when I bring myself to start writing my novel,
I cannot seem to make my fingers fly all over keyboard. It is very scary.
Then it gets worse. Everyone is familiar with writing a term paper for
a class. I have often found myself sitting in front of the computer and
I cannot bring myself to write about Buddha or about love and sex. But after
a while, I close my eyes, glance at the handout that tells me what to do
for my paper, let out a huge sigh, close my eyes again and write as much
as I can, without looking back.
I could sit here and tell you that I found the cure for writer's block.
I could even tell you that it will never come back to bother me. But I would
be lying to you and myself if I said that. Writer's block always comes back
and sometimes it hits harder than other times when people have had it.
The only thing I can say is that there is a solution to this problem.
I just found a list, not too long ago, that tells you how to deal with writer's
block on a website at www.sff.net. It is not much, but it might help. First,
find a book about writer's block. The internet is a good place to start
looking for one. Second, write about it. Write how much you hate not being
able to come up with anything for your paper or your stories, whatever.
Third, take a break. A person can only stare at the screen for so long
before the thought of writing for a class becomes a hassle. It still needs
to get done but if you truly value your writing or your grade, then you
will do the right thing by making sure that you take some time, relax for
a while, and if possible-wait and try again.
Fourth, figure out what's wrong. Writing is not always the magical process
that we perceive it to be. But when we are unable to create a masterpiece,
that clearly presents a problem. The only solution to this problem is to
sit down and figure out exactly what is wrong.
Fifth, recover like an athlete. You just need to sit down and heal from
the pain that you have experienced by having writer's block. Get some rest
before you dive in and begin to write. The last thing that you need is to
go in and start writing, only to find yourself failing again because of
Finally, talk to other people going through the same thing. Ask them
what they do to heal from writer's block. Ask them for ideas and that you
would really appreciate it.
Now, I will tell you what not to do when you are sick with writer's
block. Do not beat yourself up because you cannot write a thing. Do not
quit writing forever, anyone can write, everyone just goes through a bad
spell at some point or another in their lives.
Please, do not set an impossible writing schedule. Writing 10 pages
every day is not going to cure writer's block, in fact, it may make it worse.
You have time, take as much time as you need to write.
Finally, my advice: Keep writing, it's the only thing that will make
Julia Carachure, a junior journalism major, is editorial director
of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.