The best advice I ever encountered for overcoming writer’s block is to simply lower one’s standards.
I should clarify that this lowering of standards should be thought of as temporary. There’s no reason to ever stare frozen at a blank page, debating how to begin. Just write – something, anything. It doesn’t need to be good or even halfway presentable. It doesn’t have to be spelled correctly or arranged coherently. What matters is getting words on the screen, getting the ideas flowing.
I consider it much easier to edit something that’s already been written than write something new from scratch. It’s this principle that I exploit when I write my stream-of-conciousness rough drafts. With every sentence (sometimes keystroke) I cringe, thinking that the words I’m producing are garbage – that if anyone were to discover this verbal eyesore, they’d revoke my writer credentials.
But after my furious scribble sessions are over, I look back and realize oh, maybe I wasn’t so bad. And, as I have many times before, I realize that I’ve underestimated myself. I think, “I’m my own worst critic,” and gain a bit of confidence back, only to think of that one Onion article about the guy who is deluded enough to think he’s his own worst critic. The cycle of self-doubt begins anew.
But hey, I just finished my first blog post on this site, right? That’s something.
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