Is there really such a thing?
I touched on writer's block yesterday. I was in kind of a hurry and blathered out what I did without a lot of thought. I'm trying to stay ahead of this blog thing and have most of my thoughts written down before I actually have to post them. Yesterday was a non-motivated day and I didn't have it in me to write a post for today. So, I'm actually writing this one for tomorrow. (My editor would cut that last sentence saying it wasn't really necessary to the plot and was slowing it down, but this is a blog post, and I'm supposed to find "my voice" in writing a blog, and since it was my thought, I'm leaving it in.) (She would cut that one, too.)
I think lack of motivation is one of the sources of writer's block. If we say "I can't write," because I just don't feel like it. There is something underlying why we're not writing, not a block. I feel like a true "Writer's Block" is something indefinable preventing us from writing. So, if we can define what is making us not want to write, we, conceivably, should be able to address it, remove that block and move ahead.
For me, yesterday, what was preventing my motivation was mild depression, probably from tiredness. And I wasn't really tired, I was more or less 'out of it' because of my poor sleep and actually oversleeping that morning. I found once I was out in the sunshine, driving to Toys R Us, I was much happier and my thoughts turned immediately to one of the problems I was working on, or didn't want to work on earlier in the day.
Depression is a real ailment that a lot of people currently are dealing with. And it seems like creative people are much more afflicted by it than others. Maybe I should say, as much as others, because we are more aware of people like Robin Williams, who succumbed to overwhelming this last year.
It's hard to write when you're sad, unless you're writing something really dark. If you are writing something dark and it's getting you down, you might want to switch it up once in a while to keep an happier outlook. When I was editing "Flypaper Boy" there is a section toward the end where things are really going wrong for my protagonist, and every time I came to it I found I was really depressed by it. And I even knew how it would turn out.
If sadness is what is keeping you from writing, look for a way to cheer up. A lot of people find exercise makes them feel happier. Some people find certain songs make it easier to be happy. Just going outside for a walk, filling your lungs with fresh air, might do it. I like to play the piano and choosing which song I play can really change my mood for the better, or the worse if I want.
If you are consistently sad and not able to break out of it, you may need more than thinking positive thoughts. There are councilors and therapist who might be able to help you by talking things out, or you may need some medical help to overcome the darkness. Talk to you physician. If she or he doesn't seem like they are taking you seriously, blowing you off, get a second opinion. Your mental health is worth it.
Physical comfort is important to productive writing. If you have a toothache, you're not going to be able to write. If you are overly tired, your mental capacities are strained. So good sleeping patterns, eating habits, exercise and a comfortable place to type are all important to open our minds and let the words flow out.