All writers face the dreaded blank page. This article provides several ways to beat writer's block especially by using a journal.
Hey Writer! Do you sometimes find yourself sitting in front of your computer staring at the blank page?
If you have, it’s okay.
Every writer has been there. Trying to write but the words just will not come.
You may even have gotten a good start on your project or book but then the words just seem to dry up.
You, my friend, are not alone.
While there is no specific timeline around how long writer’s block will last, there are a number of ways to beat it. And they are as individual as the writer.
But there is a lot to be said for writing out your own mind map by hand.
You have most likely heard of one or more of the above ways to conquer writer’s block at one time or another.
But there is one method that is just as good, if not better than, any of the ideas presented above – journaling.
When you think of a journal, do you envision the typical diary little girls tend to carry and write all their hopes and dreams in?
This is more of the adult version of that diary and it isn't just for little girls. Any writer can use a journal. And journals that meet every need can be found in any bookstore. (The prettier versions might be attributed to more feminine writers but there are many out there for our male counterparts as well.) Even a spiral-bound notebook will do.
What you're looking for here is a simple way of organizing your thoughts or just getting them out of your head. Maybe you will access and use these thoughts and ideas later. Then again, maybe not.
Ms. Rhimes suggested freewriting in her video and the accompanying article. Freewriting is simply grabbing some paper and a writing instrument and just letting thoughts and ideas and words flow.
Julia Cameron, author of the Artist’s Way, espouses the idea of Morning Pages, where you write three long-hand pages typically upon rising and doing a brain dump of all the thoughts that pop into your head as soon as your eyes open.
These are the thoughts that can block you from getting your writing done and have you watching the cursor blink.
Getting everything out of your head before you start your day enables you to move forward with whatever project(s) you have going. It also serves as a vehicle where you can keep track of your musings.
It can certainly help in beating writer's block. If you have your journal, you can write in those smaller chunks as mentioned above.
A journal is also portable so you can write anywhere -- while running errands, while waiting on the kids, any time an errant thought hits you and you need to capture it or lose it.
There are many ways to beat writer's block:
Journaling is a viable way to get past the blank page and you'll find yourself with a place to carry around all your thoughts and ideas as well.
In her blog, the Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron has this to say about writing by hand versus doing morning pages (journaling) on your computer or another device:
“When we write by hand, we connect to ourselves. We may get speed and distance when we type, but we get a truer connection--to ourselves and our deepest thoughts-- when we actually put pen to page.”
I take her advice to heart and write longhand in my journal.
Bottom line: It doesn't matter how or where you write as long as you get the writing done. But having an alternative way to help ease the frustration of the blank page is always helpful. That is where your journal comes into play.
Below is a list of resources for a few of my favorite tools that I use in my journaling practice.