Imagine you are surfing the web and suddenly you have a network problem. That’s frustrating, is not it? Yes, it is. In order to continue doing what you were just doing online, you have to relax and wait for the network to work again. That’s what it feels like when you have writer’s block. It’s like a running faucet that suddenly has no water flowing out of it.
As a writer, writer’s block is inevitable. You may have moments when your creative chest is unlocked and the words just flow. But there are also moments when the word stream stops flowing and you become anxious and frustrated. What normally takes you a few days to complete can now take weeks. At this stage, anxiety and frustration are not the best way to handle it. In fact, it makes the situation worse and only clogs up your word pipeline even more. At this point, you need to take a breath and clear the way.
What is writer’s block?
Writer’s block is a condition, which can be temporary or permanent, where a writer experiences a creative slowdown that has nothing to do with commitment issues or poor writing skills. Writer’s block ranges from difficulty coming up with new ideas to an inability to produce a work for years. Writer’s block has nothing to do with the author’s ability or desire to write.
What causes writer’s block?
Writer’s block can have many causes, best known to the author himself. However, remember that writer’s block does not call into question your skill or passion for writing. If you were to conduct an opinion poll, you would find that there are many reasons why writers suffer from this situation. However, in this article, we have narrowed down the causes to 3 common ones. These causes include:
- Anxiety: anxiety is a common factor for everyone, and a writer is not exempt from it. As a writer, it is human to have certain fears when it comes to your career as a writer. A writer may be afraid of not being good enough, of having their work rejected, of being criticized by others, etc. The problem, however, is that the fear becomes so great that it blocks the flow of your words. Fears should be fought in the initial stages so that they do not spill over into other stages.
- Adherence to Deadline: It is good to always work with a deadline in mind. However, you need to make sure that you do not let it overwhelm you. The moment you become too aware that you have to meet the deadline, anxiety sets in and this can cause your flow of words to stall.
- Perfectionism: It’s okay to always want to produce top-notch results that use the right words and adhere to the rules of the English language, while also being able to properly inform your readers. However, the obsession to be perfect can lead to writer’s block even in the initial stages of writing. Yes, you may have the urge and passion to write, but you will find yourself still staring at a blank page in your book or on the screen.
How long can writer’s block last?
There is no set amount of time that writer’s block should last. Writer’s block is not only physical, but also psychological and therefore varies in length. For some, it may only last a few hours. For others, it lasts days, weeks, or even months. In fact, it lasts as long as the writer allows it to. Yes, the writer can allow it to go on if he does not care.
Is writer’s block normal?
Writer’s block is a condition that writers often face. Writer’s block has even become a household word in the writing community. However, for aspiring writers, it is nothing to be afraid of. Just remember that it is a temporary condition.
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How do you overcome writer’s block?
- Write down your ideas in bullet points
One therapy that always works for me when I have writer’s block is to write down my thoughts and ideas in bullet points. When I do this, my creative bank opens up again. The amazing thing is that not only do the words start flowing, but so do new ideas.
- Stop writing, try expressing yourself verbally.
This is something I do a lot, and it really helps. As soon as I notice the words stop flowing, I pick up my phone and record myself speaking. Then I transfer what I am saying into written words. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, it’s worth the time and effort.
- Read a book or listen to an audio version
Reading or listening to another author’s ideas, thoughts, and perspectives can inspire you and break the chains that limit your creative flow. The book does not have to be about the topic you are writing about, it’s fine if it’s about something else.
- Write something different
Some people might not agree with this, but it actually works. For example, if you are currently working on a fictional story, you can take a break, choose a topic that interests you, and write an article instead. As you write the article, you may start to release your blocks.
- You need to relax
Yes! You need to relax. This works too. It is true that you have to meet the deadline, but at this moment you need to stop, relax and take some air. Go for a walk, listen to music, watch a movie, talk to a friend, play a game, sleep, etc. You know yourself best, so you should know the best way to relax and unwind.
Most importantly, do not drag the problem out with fear, anxiety, and pressure. Remember, writer’s block is not a disease. As soon as you notice that you are suffering from it, all you have to do is apply one of these solutions and you will.
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