A some point along your literary journey it’s going to feel like you’ve hit a wall, that you’ve run out of ideas, that your writing career is over. Before you panic, it’s important to avoid negative self-talk. You are not an idiot. You have not forgotten how to write.
Imagine you’re on a long hike up a mountainside. After you’ve been walking for a couple of hours you arrive at a place on the trail where there’s been a landslide It’s blocked by debris. You’re intelligent and you have enough strength to continue, so it’s not a matter of whether you are capable of finishing the journey. The issue is how important it is for you to reach your final destination, and whether you have the patience to pause and consider all your options.
Staring at a blank page or computer screen is about as helpful as staring at a pile of rocks blocking a mountain trail, and being overwhelmed by how impossible the situation seems. My suggestion is that you continue writing, which will keep your creative juices flowing, but switch to a different format. If’ you’re writing a novel, take some time to write an essay. If you’re working on a non-fiction book, write a short story. If your main project is a play for live theatre, write an article for a newsletter, magazine or online literary journal.
The reason it’s important to switch your attention from the main project for a brief time, is to allow your self-conscious to search for a solution, rather than focusing all your attention on the problem. It’s time to relax, not panic. Consider the world we live in; there are only seven notes, but they are used to compose symphonies, there are only twenty-six letters in the English alphabet, and yet every day new books are published. That is the limitless potential of the creative mind.
Developing self-confidence as a writer begins with finishing projects, but you don’t have to feel like a failure if you encounter writer’s block. Your God given talent, and the endless flow of creative juices will allow you to find a solution. You will succeed.