Writer’s Block: Defeating a Symptom


The discouraged Nenene suffering from writer's...

Often times writer’s block can be attributed to writer‘s distraction. Make sure you give yourself a quiet and secluded place to work. And make sure it is a place where you won’t do anything but write.

If you still can’t get into the mood to write, try working on an element of the project. Brainstorming sessions on a white-board works wonders! Like we discussed before, reviewing characters, plot, scenes, and reading what you wrote the day before can also help get your creative juices flowing. However, one of the biggest tips to defeating writer’s block/writer’s distraction, is to ask questions with presuppositions.

How we feel and how we find solutions come from how we direct our mind. And questions are by far the most common and most powerful tool for directing the mind. Let’s discuss how to use them for effective writing.

Your subconscious works like a non-critical and non-judgmental computer

Think of your subconscious as a cell phone app. You put in your request and the app responds with answers. It doesn’t criticize your questions. It simply takes your input and provides you with the best information it can find. Your subconscious works exactly the same way. It is non-critical and non-judgmental, which means it takes everything at face value.

When you ask your subconscious questions about your writing, synapses in your brain go to work immediately to find the answers.

How presuppositions direct your mind

Most questions contain presuppositions. A presupposition is a fact that’s embedded in the question, which you will have to accept as truth in order to answer the question.

For example, if you ask, “Why can’t I write today?” Your mind assumes can’t is a fact. Similarly, a lot of questions that people ask themselves contain negative presuppositions.

“Why can’t I ever get this right?” This question presupposes you can’t get it right. In fact, it presupposes you can’t ever get it right!

Your subconscious automatically accepts these presuppositions when you ask it a question. Therefore, replace negative presuppositions with empowering ones. Instead of asking, “Why can’t I write?” Ask, “How can I most easily write this?”

This question presupposes:

  • It can be done
  • You can do it
  • There are several possible ways to do it
  • It will be easy

When writer’s block lifts and epiphanies start flowing, it can seem that these miracles came out of nowhere. But have they? Asking questions will immediately send your brain out to find the answers that lead to those “ah-ha” moments. When you find yourself stuck at any point while writing a novel, try the above techniques to get you on your way again. 🙂

What about you? What are your nifty ways to get the writing switch on again?



One thought on “Writer’s Block: Defeating a Symptom

  1. Great insights about stimulating the muse. One thing I found is that being in too quiet of an environment is detrimental to my writing. I know it sounds counter intuitive but I write well and quickly in such places as fast food restaurants. Maybe it is the jarring change of scene that prompts my muse to let loose of the inspiration, maybe she just wants to get out of McDonalds.

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