How to Beat Writer’s Block

Like every teenager who listened to rock music, I thought The Doors were an awesome band. Like every adult who listens to good rock music, I now know I was wrong. But The Doors did teach us a couple things: Oliver Stone can make a lame band into an even more lame movie, and if you can write things like “Tried to run/Tried to hide/Break on through to the other side,” you have the potential to become a perpetually shirtless, inexplicably transcendent rock star.

Photo of the beach as seen through a window by Flickr's Matt KiefferBut what if there’s a life lesson hidden deep within their hit song “Break on Through?” I mean, think about it…

Okay, cut it out. Thinking about it hurts, and I don’t want to be responsible for any injuries.

Fortunately, this lesson doesn’t require that you to listen to the song, because the answer is right there in the title. “Break[ing] on Through” is the key to beating writer’s block.

The thing about writer’s block is that it doesn’t actually exist. It’s completely made up. It’s nothing more than a cute substitute for “not motivated,” “not inspired,” or “not enough information.” So when you’re suffering from writer’s block, you just gotta break on through.

Of course, it’s not always that easy. A lack of motivation could be the death knell for an idea—if you don’t want to write it, maybe it’s not worth writing. Losing inspiration could cost you hours, days or even finding it again. And a lack of information means that you need to do some reading. A lot of reading. Because you simply don’t have what you need to write. Not yet, at least.

But break on through, because the other side is glorious.

Writer’s block gives you two choices: Beat it, or give up. If you beat it, you’ll be more motivated, inspired or informed than you were before you hit the wall—and you’re going to do some of your best work because of it. If you give up, then you can go play video games or whatever, you bum.

Don’t give up. Because in the immortal words of Jim Morrison, “There are things known and there are things unknown. And in between are the doors.” 

God, what a maniac.

Photo Credit: Flickr’s Matt Kieffer

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