What do you do when the well runs dry?

They say it happens to every writer at some point. The creative well runs dry. The last time I suffered from writer’s block was a long time ago indeed. I was working on a sci-fi novel called Orgon Conclusion, got stuck a third of the way through, and put it on the back-burner. Twenty years later, I overcame my demons, finished and published it.

And for the last six and a half years I’ve always been able to write myself out of writer’s block. Knowing the words weren’t the best, I would pound them out furiously with the knowledge that eventually the muse would visit and bless my prose with a smoothness, clarity and conciseness that some say are the trademarks of my writing style. It would be music to my ears, magic to my eyes. It would fill me with wonder and awe at the poetry and power of prose.

But not today.

I have two writing projects on the go and I can’t seem to get into either one of them. The Dark Menace, a work in progress, sits on my desk collecting dust. I haven’t touched it in almost a week. I recently wrote the first draft and did three editing passes. Apparently it still needs considerable revision, but I just can’t seem to find the passion, enthusiasm, or inspiration to begin the process.

Then there’s The Witch’s Tombstone, a novel I started researching and writing about three weeks ago. I’m about 600 words into it and haven’t added a single word in over a week.

Probably worse than writer’s block, some writers suffer from a debilitating writer’s anxiety that creates fear in their minds. Every time they put pen to paper, a debilitating fear prevents them from being successful. Fortunately, I’ve never had that problem. When I do write, I write fearlessly, and generally with passion and conviction.

But how do you cure writer’s block?

Well, according to the so-called experts, here are some things you shouldn’t do:

Watch TV.

Wallow in self-pity.

Wait until you feel inspired.

Procrastinate or make excuses.

Read articles on how to vanquish writer’s block. Guess I cut off my nose to spite my face on that one, huh?

Here are some things people recommend to overcome writer’s block:

Go for a walk.

Get rid of distractions.

Exercise.

Play.

Read a book.

Listen to music.

Call a friend.

Spend time with a friend.

Change your environment.

Brew some coffee.

Read some inspiring quotes or even inspiring book reviews if you have a backlist of well-reviewed novels.

The list goes on and on. I had some ideas of my own to deal with writer’s block but unfortunately the experts don’t agree with my remedies. I considered drinking wine. Thought of drinking rum. It also occurred to me to drink beer. Then I thought, hell, why not combine all three and just drown my sorrows in a dark abyss of alcohol abuse and wallow in self-pity. That might even lead to some inspired drunk-dialing.

But then the voice of reason spoke to me and I did two things. I brewed a fresh pot of coffee, which I’m currently enjoying. And the next thing I did—which conventional wisdom says is the most important thing you can do to overcome writer’s block—is to write.

It might not be much, but it’s a start. And the best start toward finding a solution to the problem. I wrote this blog post. Maybe now I’ll go read a book. Maybe I’ll go play. Maybe I’ll call a friend.

Tomorrow is another day. Here’s hoping it brings more passion and inspiration.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear all about your writer’s block remedies. Please post your comments below.

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