DEALING WITH WRITER’S BLOCK
‘Blurry images getting stuck in your mind
Ideas that seem not to be making any sense
Meaningless words dancing in circles in your head
Or no words at all
Painful feelings of self doubt coming at you
As you get a grasp of your art
There’s no creative bone left in your body
And you just want to quit…’
Let’s face it; writer’s block is undoubtedly one of the most frustrating things that can happen to any writer; amateur or expert. Quite unfortunately, it’s kind of inevitable at some point in any writer’s career; regardless of whether you’re writing as a hobby or for work. Writer’s block could be inability to get original or exciting ideas, or even not being able to produce any work for a really long time. A number of things could cause writer’s block, but here are some pretty common causes:
- THE STRIVE FOR PERFECTION: This in my opinion is pretty much one of the most common ones. Every writer tends to be a perfectionist about his or her work. There is this unending feeling of wanting everything to be just right in your head; every word, every phrase, every sentence, before one actually starts writing. Which is a good thing no doubt, but allowing this feeling to completely overwhelm you and take over your mind, will not only affective the flow of your, it could put a stop to the entire creative process. Sometimes, the best ideas are not conceived on the first or even the second tries. Some things need to be put down in their raw forms and then developed properly, before it becomes a masterpiece.
- FEAR: fear happens to be another very common cause of writer’s block, mostly among new writers. The anxiety that comes with putting your work and yourself out there can be daunting. Nobody likes to be judged, especially when it comes to a project that you put your all into making a reality. The thought of people not liking or accepting one’s work can send a writer into a fit of jitters, thereby causing a somewhat temporary condition of not being able to come up with ideas or not being able to write as creatively.
- LACK OF INSPIRATION: A writer not feeling inspired from within to even do anything at all obviously is a form of writer’s block. Anything can cause a writer to not feel inspired and be too distracted to put his or her pen to paper and create. Unfortunately, that could go on and on for so long and even last up to years.
- PERSONAL ISSUES: if a writer is going through unfavorable circumstances such as an illness, financial issues, setback in career, the death of a loved one or any adverse situation at all, the feeling of unhappiness or dejection can make the person feel uncreative. Being consumed with all the things not going right, might make it difficult to focus on writing anything.
- PRESSURE: pressure to come up with a finished work from a member of a writer’s team such as his or her agent, or editor can ironically trigger writer’s block, especially if they are required to work in unfamiliar circumstances such as genres completely outside their niche. Sometimes stress from totally unrelated areas of one’s life can lead to a similar occurrence.
- CHANGE: highly significant negative (or even positive) changes at times can cause a writer to feel unfocused and a bit disoriented; thereby leading to writer’s block. In an instance, where the change is positive, it is usually just for a little while and as soon as the person starts to adapt to these new conditions, creativity will likely flow again.
- TIMING: wrong timing as a reason for a person to experience writer’s block is not easily understood by the person going through writer’s block. But the truth is that sometimes, it simply not the right time to produce a particular work or even attempt to write anything at all, at least for a while. Whatever the reason might be, if the time for an idea to become a masterpiece has not come, writing will be nothing but a futile struggle.
HOW TO OVERCOME WRITER’S BLOCK
EVERY writer struggles writer with it, but what really matters is what you do about it!
For the most part, dealing with writer’s block involves the writer in question, taking deliberate and precise actions to deal with the condition. There are several proposed ways to fight writer’s block and what works for one person might be completely useless to the other. Writing is not a science, but rather an art and so there is hardly any ‘strictly prescribed’ remedy or formula when it comes to issues related to writing. It’s important that one finds the most suitable option to successfully deal with writer’s block, taking into consideration the particular cause or reason for experiencing it in the first place. Some suggested tips include:
- The very first thing ( I do) and actually recommend for anyone is to take a break. It’s not like you’re being productive at the moment anyway! (Just saying) so take a moment to relax without thinking of writing at all. Just do something that you find to be therapeutic for you. You could take a walk, listen to music (it’s also a good idea to try new music), go to the gym, sleep; watch a movie, anything at all. As long as you take your mind off writing for a while and clear your head. A fresh start is always a good idea.
- Spend time with someone (or people) who make you feel good. Everyone has that person that can make them forget all their troubles in a minute. So go ahead and hang out with your friend or cousin or whoever. You can even call an old friend or check up on that aunt you don’t see often. As long as you’re surrounded by good vibes and positive energy; you’re on the right track. (NOTE: SOME PEOPLE NEED TO ISOLATE THEMSELVES TO WORK BETTER, AND THAT’S TOTALLY FINE. IF YOU NEED TO BE ALONE, DO JUST THAT.)
- Read a book. (I personally find it motivating to read as much as I can while writing). There is something about being surrounded by creativity that causes your own creative juices to flow. You can pick up a book that you really enjoyed reading in the past or even that new book you’re not too sure about. Just seeing that someone else was able to successfully write, could be the kick that you need to get going yourself.
- Start somewhere. How about just pick up your pen (if you prefer the old fashioned way) or start up that device and get typing. Just write, it could be completely different from the project you already started or had in mind; but just put something down. Lower your expectations while you are it and don’t worry about it being perfect. Just get it done!
- Eliminate distractions. Don’t worry too much about anything that you can’t control or change, at least at the moment. Just focus on your writing and get lost in it. Truly imagine and let your beautiful ideas come to life with no hindrances whatsoever.
- Put down your ideas as soon as they come. It will be of benefit to you to have a way to note your ideas as soon as they hit you. Those incomplete sentences and flimsy thoughts that come to you so randomly could be just what you’ve been struggling to find.
- Trust the process. Trust your process. Every writer is different from the next. There is no clear cut prototype of how writing should be and can be done. So find your style and own it. If you are the kind of writer that just sits at a keyboard and dives right it in, do just that. If you need to have a well structured outline, with all your characters, their backgrounds including their favorite things to do, do that also. Start writing from the middle or the end or the beginning. It doesn’t even matter as long as you’re getting it done.
- Be patient with yourself. It might take a little while but you will get there. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Be consistent and work hard. The work will get done as long as you don’t stop. So don’t be in a hurry, just don’t stop. Have confidence in yourself.
- Finally, remember why you write in the first place. It is has been said that if you don’t know where you’re going to, you should at least know where you’re coming from. Taking yourself back to the reason why you started writing in the first place, often serves as some sort of motivation to keep you going. It can also open your mind up and allow you to see yourself and your writing in a better light.
Write because you CAN’T not write!
HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO NOT DO!
- Don’t wallow in self-pity.
- Don’t procrastinate.
- Don’t sit down and not write.