THE BLOG

Writers Block

02/07/2015 10:44 BST | Updated 01/07/2016 10:59 BST

Writers block: the inability to effectively translate thoughts to written form.

Authors get writers block. They hit a wall, a creative blockage whereby they simply cannot write, no matter how hard they try. Journalists don't get writers block. How can they? Stories move too quickly, new things happen every day. Journalists have it lucky. There is too much to write about. Right?

There is no way you could ever run out of things to write about. Writers block is an exclusive situation that only those writing great novels can claim. Nine hundred words versus ninety thousand...phft, our job is easy.

But have you ever had months go by without having put pen to paper? You! The aspiring journalist with nothing to say? Ridiculous, of course you haven't.

Your pen has never been seen to be hovering above paper, frantically scribbling random words only to be scored out moments later. Your computer certainly never reflects this. Several documents all opened at once with a sentence here, two sentences there, to then be left abandoned on your desktop. Sound familiar?

Yeah, me too. So it turns out that writers of all shapes and sizes will inevitably wander into this void. What we need is a strategy for climbing out.

Now this doesn't mean turning to Google and searching 'how to get over writer's block.' The equivalent of this is a hypochondriac googling their symptoms - it will only cause blind panic and alarm. You will discover you're not suffering from writer's block at all but an incurable problem, destined for disaster. The void will only get bigger.

Instead, the most effective thing you can do is to take a step back. Pull yourself out of the situation and take a look at you. What's changed? Something will have directly or indirectly caused this blockage - the key is to finding out what it is.

For me, it was simply that: change. And not necessarily bad changes, but changes that nonetheless shifted my balance and left me discombobulated. Like many new graduates, you feel the sweet but brief relief of finishing your studies and graduating. This is swiftly followed by your new reality, which suddenly includes job hunting, interviews, rent, council tax, your first job and general life problems.

Terrifying though this new juggling act may be, it is now a matter of fitting your passions into your new ever-busy life. Keep your notebook handy, you never know when a new idea might spring to mind. Make time for yourself to write even if that maybe for half an hour each day. Sometimes it might be throw away stuff but the more you practice and keep writing as part of your routine the better. You'll be surprised what you come up with.

Just look at me. I was struggling to write anything. But now after a bit of mental re-shuffling, the void is becoming smaller.