Writing this has been a long time coming; almost from the moment I decided that since my Honor’s Path series takes place in a Feudal Japan-like setting that I should use largely Japanese religious traditions and ideas within the story. A quick disclaimer, I am not a follower of Shinto and cannot claim to be an expert on the religion. I have, at best, a lay understanding of the material. With that addressed, let us continue.
One thing I’ve noticed when writing, there are numerous sources about how to cope with and move past writer’s block. Not surprising. Anyone who’s sat down to write a story has reached a point where they simply do not know how to proceed. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t know what happens next (although that is common). It could be also be they are unsure of how to proceed, or simply lack the necessary motivation to continue.
While I could give advice on how to overcome writer’s block, my experience has been that what works for one person very rarely works for another. This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. Everyone’s creative process is different. Same for our strengths and weaknesses. Thus, I suspect, the exact problems every writer must contend with when facing writer’s block are also likely to be completely different.
So instead of giving some advice that might be partly useful to one or two people in the world, I figured I would instead tackle the larger issue of how to avoid writer’s block entirely. In all honesty, I believe this can be applied to any endeavor where people feel like they are getting stuck, however my application has to do exclusively with writing. Also, as with overcoming writer’s block, I do not expect that works for me will also work for you. Instead, it is my hope that reading this will make you think about how you go about doing your own work, and identify the habits you have that ultimately sabotage you from making progress.
I’m also going to give a shout out to the book The War of Art, which helped me immeasurably. I probably bring this up every time I talk about writer’s block or productivity. There is a reason for that.