Julia Cameron once said, “Write something down; don’t think something up.” Writer’s block is a product of thinking something up–trying to come up with a lofty idea, an overly complicated plot, or setting any unreasonable expectation for yourself. You imagine writing something so great, the picture is clear in your head, but that picture disables you from producing anything because every word you write pales in comparison to what you have imagined. To paraphrase Gretchen Rubin’s take on Voltaire, you are making the perfect the enemy of the good.
Break this repressive habit by setting a low bar for your writing output. Tell yourself that you will write just one paragraph each day, but discipline yourself to write everyday. This doesn’t mean that you will set a low bar for the overall quality of your piece, but not putting too much pressure on yourself and concentrating on completing the task at hand will make the task more manageable and doable.
Another benefit of this one paragraph rule is that once you start writing, there is a possibility that you’ll get into your writing, and you will end up writing more than one paragraph. If you stuck to your old ways and demand that you write an epic poem or the greatest essay ever written, you’ll just be overwhelmed, and because of this you might feel either too lazy or too scared to write. Even if you end up writing just one paragraph that day, compared to not writing at all because you were too intimidated to do any work, setting the bar low seems to be the more productive route.
Check out my other writing posts:
- Writing Exercise: The Morning Pages
- Writing Exercise: A-Z Sentences
- Evolving Writing Habits
- The Light
- Where Writing Exercises Meet
- Descriptive Essay: Think before You Act
- To be Read, To be Loved
- Tell Another Story
- Free Writing Adventures
- Particularity of I Love You
- My Writing Journey So Far
- Writing Tip: Make a Pact with the Universe
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Age of the Diary by Jasmine T. Cruz. If you like this post, please subscribe to this blog. Follow Ja on Twitter: ageofthediary. Email Ja at: firstname.lastname@example.org.