The poet William Stafford wrote:
I believe that the so-called 'writing block' is a product of some kind of disproportion between your standards and your performance ... one should lower his standards until there is no felt threshold to go over in writing. It's easy to write. You just shouldn't have standards that inhibit you from writing ... I can imagine a person beginning to feel he's not able to write up to that standard he imagines the world has set for him. But to me that's surrealistic. The only standard I can rationally have is the standard I'm meeting right now ... You should be more willing to forgive yourself. It doesn't make any difference if you are good or bad today. The assessment of the product is something that happens after you've done it.
One fun way to lower your standards is by participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org). Faced with the daunting task of writing 50,000 words in thirty days, you won't have time to fret about quality. You may write a great novel in the process, but, you won't have time worry about it. And, if Stafford's ideas hold true, you won't have time for writer's block.
Although the NaNoWriMo rules don't permit you to begin the actual writing until 12:01AM of November 1st, you are allowed to plan ahead. You've got the entire month of October to outline, plot, develop characters, and build worlds. When November first rolls around, you'll be ready.
Do you plan to participate in National Novel Writing Month? How will you prepare? If you like, leave a comment and let me know.