Writer's Block: Why It Sucks and What You Can Do About It.

If you've ever written any at all (or tried to write), then you probably know what it's like to stare at a blank screen or an empty piece of paper. There are times when words come easily. You know, that idea's been churning around, and it just happens. Then, there are those times where, even if you know what is supposed to happen, you just can't write. Welcome to the block. It's horrifying.

It may not be as horrid if you don't have people expecting to read what you write. But, when you get to the point that others are waiting on you to get your story out there things start to get hairy. All of a sudden you find yourself doing anything to avoid something you love to do. Of course you don't plan to avoid it forever, but it becomes very easy to postpone it. Hmm, what was the name of that movie, again? Yes, I should start that diet. I wonder if I can reach level 70 on that game by Friday. My story? Oh, that. Yeah, it's, uhm, coming along. See? Writer's Block is horrible. I've been writing my entire life. The good news is I've found a few ways to combat this icky situation, and I'm sharing them with you. Here are three ways you can overcome the block:

1. Write: This is my favorite because it sounds so stupid. I can't write; I have writer's block. Yep, I know. If you sit down and write something though, your creative gears will actually start to kick in and you've written over a thousand words before you know it.

2. Prompts & Sprints: I like these. They don't always produce the best quality writing, but for a first draft it's just fine. I like to sometimes crowd-source my prompts, too. It's fun to let my readers pick something they might want to see in a scene. It's a win-win. Sprinting is where you write as much as you can in a given time. Set the clock and try it. You might at least get a couple hundred words in. They even have groups on Twitter for this: @NaNoWordSprints. These both also get you writing (see number one).

3. Freedom Software: If you're a hard nut to crack, and nothing's working for you, you might look into a program called "Freedom". This program has both a paid and free version. Both work just fine. You install this sucker onto your PC and either start a session or schedule a session. During your session (you pick the length) you can't access the internet. OH, NO! That's right, dears, no more Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube... nothing. It even comes with a mobile version, you cheaters. You know what else this software gets you doing? You guessed it: writing (see number one again). Get the software here.

So, it seems like no matter the tool you use to get you back to putting pen to paper, the only way to beat the block is to "just do it" and write. I'm sure these aren't the only ways to fight the block. If you have any I haven't mentioned, feel free to leave them in the comments! If you are a budding writer, or even an experienced one, I hope you'll arm yourself for the block. It is inevitable and can sometimes last for years. That is, if you let it!

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