Writer’s Block Tips from the Pros
A blank page can be the most intimidating thing in the world. We’ve all experienced writer’s block! Are there any writer’s block tips that actually help?
Some pros say they don’t believe in writer’s block, which doesn’t really help us. This idea can make aspiring writers feel like they’re missing some magic power to persevere.
I think what the pros mean is that we all have to figure out how to generate material even if we’re not feeling particularly inspired. The key isn’t to erase writer’s block, it’s to come up with a plan for how we respond to those feelings.
We’ve compiled some advice from top screenwriters to help you get past your writer’s block!
David Lynch’s Writer’s Block Tips
In a recent video (embedding is disabled, but click through to watch the whole thing!), writer and director David Lynch shared his advice for dealing with writer’s block.
Regardless of your medium, Lynch says you need to establish a place to work that enables you to let your ideas flow. “You need a setup,” he says. “You try to get a place and tools to realize the ideas that come.”
He also says that you shouldn’t fear writer’s block.
“I know that there’s a thing called writer’s block, but just that term, if it becomes a reality, if you believe in that term, you could maybe get writer’s block,” he explains. “And fearing it, you would bring it to yourself. All it means is that the ideas are not coming.”
Lynch says that the key is to keep working even if you feel this way. “It just means that you keep fishing,” he says. “You have to have patience.”
He also recommends that you pursue the ideas you LOVE!
Getting Inspiration from Others
The Mindy Project creator Mindy Kaling also mentioned love when asked about overcoming writer’s block.
When she’s feeling blocked creatively, Mindy says that she likes to “see something wonderful that I love.”
Staring at a blank page might not be as productive as watching things for research. Maybe getting inspired by your favorite shows and movies will give you that next big idea to keep going!
She also says that her writing setup isn’t necessarily a desk. “The lack of the formality of a desk makes me feel really comfortable,” she says. So maybe you don’t have to work in the traditional way or the way that other writers work. Figure out what works for you personally!
Starting with Something
A big cause of writer’s block is fear of failure – or at least mediocrity. But here’s the thing: your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be good! As long as you start with something, you’ll be able to refine and improve it.
Here’s what writer/director Ava Duvernay said when asked what to do when you think your writing is terrible:
If you let go of the idea that you need to be perfect right away, maybe you’ll have an easier time getting something on the page.
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