Writer’s Block: How to Get over It
Most scripts are always suitable for screenplay contests but when it comes down to production costs they are never made into movies.
By Jen B.
You wake up one morning and suddenly you are hit with the strong feeling of not wanting to do anything. You want to write but are not able to do so. Your mood goes bad and you feel frustrated at yourself for not doing the task that you had assigned yourself. If you are a screenwriter, you may be familiar with this situation because you have experienced it at least once in your life. Every writer has gone through a writer’s block and surely it is a very frustrating and demotivating experience.
Writers tend to be taken very lightly by people who are not part of the industry, making their work sound easier and simpler than it actually is. Listening to people undermining your work and thinking that your job is easy or useless can get anyone feeling down in the dumps but it is worse when you find yourself resisting writing as well. Writing is a hard and strenuous process. As a writer you do spend most of your day sitting down and the work that you do involves writing which looks like a piece of cake but finding a story to write about and then going on to write it is a struggle.
Screenwriters are required to write as much as possible for them to be able to do their job and earn money. They have to continuously work on their stories; a cycle of write, read, edit and repeat.
To be able to be a writer as a professional career choice you need to have certain skills and understanding about the job and also a little bit of compulsion to write. This routine could exhaust a creative mind or discourage the writer, making them struggle to come up with screenplay ideas. You may feel like resisting the urge to write or just not feel like any good ideas are here for you to write on. This is where a very important aspect of being a writer comes into play, self-discipline. You have to make effort to write even when it is hard and make sure that you are able to achieve your goals that you set out for yourself. Getting the work done is crucial.
Saying it like this does make it seem like fighting the resistance and the writer’s block is a walk in the park but we know that that is not the case. However, we have some tips that could help you through the process of overcoming this struggle.
• Just Do It!
As the great Shia LaBeouf says, ‘Just do it!’ Thinking about starting and contemplating the various scenarios is not going to do you any good to be honest, it may even help you procrastinate. It is much better to just dive in headfirst and start writing. It does not matter if what you write does not make sense nor is of top quality but it will help you get back in the flow of writing.
If your agenda requires you make a script, do not spend your time thinking about every detail of the screenplay dialogue or the screenplay ideas. Getting started on your writing will help you in finding your flow and where you want to go with your story.
Screenwriters may have the fantasy of having an epiphany or a moment of eureka to get inspiration about a story but waiting on it may actually make you lose the time to write.
• Find Inspiration and Motivation from Others’ Books
Reading is the best way for a writer to broaden their horizons and be exposed to the content that is already available in the market. It can help them find inspiration for their own content as well and how to improve their art.
Make a routine to read, it can be anything from a book to a newspaper or a blog. Read other books for inspiration to write and start writing journals about your daily routine to not lose your habit of writing. Do not just spend your time thinking about your own story and how to write a screenplay or how to outline your screenplay, delve into others’ works to get good ideas and tips. It will definitely benefit you in the longer run.
Try to break out of your limited world and expose yourself to new experiences and possibilities.
• Find New Things to Try
It can become suffocating and boring for a person to just remain in their own area and do the same things every day of their life. Writers can benefit from developing new hobbies or finding new things to experience, giving them a challenge.
Breaking out of the monotonous and mentally taxing routine can be great for your mind and enable you to think and write better as your writing can be affected by how you personally feel and what your mental state is.
• Screenwriting Do’s and Don’ts If You’re Going Through A Writer’s Block
Screenwriters can tend to go through a downward spiral if they are unable to write or if they resist the temptation to write. If you are going through something similar then we recommend that you take classes or seek professional counselling. You should definitely treat yourself, you deserve it for all the stress that you endure. As a means to cope with the writer’s block, seat a deadline for yourself while doing your work, this will act as motivation to work. But! Make sure that you do not blame yourself if what you write is not as great as you would have liked, keep on writing. Do not go into a negative state of mind, it will only make it worse.
• Don’t Give Up
It is scary to be unable to do the thing that you are passionate about or to struggle with something. As a screenwriter, you have to show your work to other people and face whatever type of criticism that may be given, and that can be terrifying. To be a great writer you have to go through this all and come out of it stronger. The worst thing you could do now is to give up.
Believe in yourself and keep going on.