Here Are a Few Quick Suggestions
For Blasting Through Writer's Block
I've only mentioned Linkedin once before, but perhaps will be referring to it more often in coming months. I call it the Facebook for adult professionals, though I recognize that many (including many of my friends and colleagues) swear by it for social networking. But my tool of choice (along with this blog, naturally, which is the crown jewel of it all) is Linkedin, which facilitates all sorts of things, including widening my circle of friends, readers and collaborators. One of the many features I like about it is the way it empowers peer learning, which is generally the best kind. I occasionally answer questions from strangers about subjects I know a little about, and other times I read answers from those who know far more than I do about various topics. After I answered one about how to deal with writer's block (naturally a recurring topic there, as well as here), it occurred to me I ought to post it here as well.
I think writer's block is generally a result of one of two things: either having nothing to say (in which case, why bother writing? An existential question without any real answer) or (far more often) being frozen by having too much to say, only having it all scattered throughout your brain. Too many writers try to figure it all out in their brains before downloading it onto a screen or a page, which I think is generally their main problem. To get started, you just need to start writing, without worrying about what order it's all in, or how good it is in the first draft. As long as you get something down initially, it's always MUCH easier to go back and revise and improve, once you have something to revise. It's going from nothing to even the sketchiest something that's generally the problem. So simply begin somewhere, and you'll feel steadily more encouraged to keep at it once you've begun.
There are a bunch of tried and true methods of breaking through a block: beginning with an outline composed only of a few bullet points, which you can then begin putting in the right order, and from there expand upon, until you have the beginnings of a piece of writing. Others find they can tune up their brains and typing fingers by reading something else first (though plenty of writers don't want to have another writer's voice in their head when they sit down to do their own writing). Yet others swear by listening to music to get them in the mood, or (my favorite) perhaps going for a run or even a brisk walk to get oxygen flowing to the brain. Whatever works for you, find what that is and do it. Pretty soon your writing brain will become accustomed to the routine, and know it's time to write. Dedicating the same time each day to writing further helps the brain develop that muscle memory. It may take you years, but perhaps only a few months to really get mentally toned.
Lastly, just about all prolific writers have a large and ever-growing storehouse of material from which to draw when they sit down to write, which also is a big part of breaking through any block. If you're in the habit of jotting down stray ideas as they come to you, collecting interesting articles, stray pieces of dialogue you hear in conversations, on TV, in movies, etc., or making notes on a vivid statistic you read or heard on NPR, you may soon have an overstuffed writing room groaning with files and scraps of paper, but you'll also begin magically (or not so magically) finding that writer's block has become a distant memory. Good luck!
(for earlier mentions of this subject, you can go here. And if you're a reader, don't forget to connect with me on Linkedin, should the spirit move you. If you're not already using it, do give it some thought).