We’ve all been there before. You finally sit down to write your screenplay and an hour has gone past and the document is still blank. Don’t beat yourself up about it; it has happened to the best of us. But don’t let writer’s block get the best of you! In this article, we will discuss everything writer’s block – what causes it, and how to combat it. Let’s dive right in!
WHAT IS WRITER’S BLOCK
Writer’s block is exactly what it sounds like - a mental block that impedes you from being able to produce written material. Not to be confused with procrastination, writer’s block happens when you have every intention to sit down and write, but nothing comes of it. This can understandably be a very frustrating experience, especially when you have deadlines to meet. Instead of spiraling deeper into despair, let's dive a little deeper into the root of the problem and then discuss ways to combat writer’s block so that you can write your next best screenplay.
THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
So let’s talk about what’s really going on. Writer’s block is a lot less mysterious than you think. TPP describes writer’s block as a lack of confidence and a lack of preparation. Lack of confidence can come from many different places but what it boils down to are fear and doubt. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies and go into a self-made spiral of our insecurities. One affirmation we love here at The Professional Pen that helps battle our insecurities is by Marcus Garvey: "If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. For with confidence, you have won before you have begun." If you find yourself struggling with writer’s block, think of ways that you can build your confidence. Confidence radiates from the inside out.
Now that you’re feeling more confident, let’s get you prepared! Whether you believe in them or not, having an outline can actually aid in combating writer’s block. An outline serves as a game plan for your scriptwriting process. Want to learn more about how to write an effective outline? Then check out our The Blueprint: How to Write an Effective Outline blog post!
Lack of confidence and lack of preparation can be a toxic combination for any aspiring screenwriter. They can also be major causes of writer’s block. Imposter syndrome is real and it only gets better by pushing through and moving forward, no matter what the voices in your head have to say. Let go of the negative “what if” comments and let your story be told. And if you have that outline to fall back on, it will help alleviate some of the big feelings that can come about when sitting down to write.
PUSH THROUGH, BELOVED!
Being a screenwriter is no easy task. The more you develop your writing process the more you will discover mental tricks to get you through writer’s block or out of a creative funk. Consider changing the scenery. Maybe if you always write inside, change it up by going outside and getting some scenes done. You could also try working on something new. Maybe take a break from your current project to brainstorm ideas about a new project. Changing gears can get your creative juices flowing and put you in a mindset to create.
Let’s discuss 4 easy ways that you can push through writer’s block.
Ultimately, you have to push through, beloved. So what if the scene has too much exposition and the plot isn’t progressing. Fix that in the next draft. What matters most is getting words on the page. As the old saying goes, writing is re-writing. So get to it!
Looking for a step-by-step guide on how to write your screenplay? In our Online Screenwriting Course, The Professional Pen takes you from idea to story so that you can break free from writer’s block and tell your story all at your own pace. Happy Writing!
Written by TPP Story Expert Khadija Roane