Last week I read a great post about giving yourself creative permission even if that meant making a mess. I really enjoyed the post and thought the story of Eleanor and Joshua was a great way to illustrate the concept. Sometimes writers will develop a type of writer’s block that won’t let them write because of the need for perfection. I know I am guilty of that at times, especially lately. I get trapped into thinking that I don’t have time to make a mess, especially if I have to clean it up afterwards. It’s got to be perfect the first time. How very “grown up” of me.
I believe I’ve come up with a solution though -Ten Minute Writing Bursts.
Ten Minute Writing Bursts For Overcoming Writer’s Block
- Open up a new word document or get out some paper and pens.
- Set a timer for ten minutes.
- Write without stopping for any reason until the timer goes off.
- Highlight interesting concepts/ideas when done.
The first time I did this, I kept wanting to correct myself. I wanted to fix those typing errors and misspelled words. Despite wanting to self correct, I still managed to type five hundred words and come up with six concepts/ideas that I needed to explore. It was very good for me.
This morning I sat down to do the same thing, but used the ten minutes to write non-stop on my WIP novel (without the highlighting). It was hard, but I managed to keep self correcting at a minimum. When the time was up, I then allowed myself to fix those little spelling or typing mistakes. The actual writing I left alone.
After doing a ten minute writing burst, I found it’s important to get up and move around. Jog in place. Do some jumping jacks. Fold some laundry. Do anything that gets you away from your computer or desk for a few minutes.
Then do it again. And again.
This morning I managed to get in three, ten minute writing bursts and it was wonderful. While I know that writing isn’t about the word counts, I managed to get 1,200 words written in this morning’s writing session (30 minutes). I’m hoping to do it again after the kids go to bed.
So if the need for perfection is creating a type of writer’s block for you, then give ten minute writing burst a try.
Are you the type of person who’s need for perfection stops you from moving forward on your writing? Do you have any interesting ways of overcoming this type of writer’s block? I’d love to hear. I just might give your suggestions a try.