You must have faced the dreadful experience as a writer when you can’t write anything or just get stuck on something and can’t get over it. Don’t worry about this! It’s quite normal! It happens to everyone. Every writer must have gone through a situation of not being able to proceed with writing which is also called writer’s block.
In the words of a renowned writer, “Breaking through writer’s block is thinking thoroughly. It requires the ability to imagine a world outside your surroundings and picturise it in better view and then put it in well-defined words.”
Let’s understand it better!
What is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block can be described as a situation when a writer is not able to write anything or not able to proceed with writing anything new. It is really common for almost all writers. Some may get over it really quickly and some take days or even months. Getting over depends on person to person and it is basically a result of inside issues of a writer. In this situation, the writer seems discontent with the act of creative writing and faces problems like not being able to create or write anything new.
Causes of Writer’s block
Writer’s block can happen for different reasons or timing. Some are not able to even start a book or some may get stuck in between the plot or the ending of a book. However, it may contradict one person to another. The causes are quite ordinary.
- Self-doubt and criticism
- Fear of not able to write good
- Lack of external motivation
- Lack of internal motivation
- Fear of failure
Moreover, writer’s block has many other causes but the basic one is discontent with the act of creative writing. But it is not a long situation and any writer can overcome it. After all, passion makes you do everything! If your passion for writing is so good and you want to get better in your art, you can always overcome any block.
Overcoming writer’s block is not easy as it doesn’t really have any clinical treatment. It is directly related to the psychological thoughts and mindset of a writer. But these feelings can easily be irreversible! You can always get better anytime and in any situation. Here are some ways that can be applicable and will benefit you.
How to Overcome Writer’s Block?
Take a Break (a Longer One!)
Taking a break always helps. Whenever you feel confused or not able to process what’s happening, just take a needed break. If required make it a long break. Use that break not to think about writing or anything related to writing. Do something you like or simply go for a drive. Sometimes while writing, writers overthink the same thing, which leads to a block in the head and getting involved in something else may work. You can also opt for a vacation!
2. Make a Proper Writing Routine
It is said that “Creativity is a habit and the best creativity is a result of good habits.” As a writer, only writing all day and night is not a correct way to pursue creative writing. And if you only write for some hours and take long breaks, it makes the work pending and your story incomplete for the most time.
It has to be done with a proper routine and time. So it is important to make a suitable routine for yourself and follow it. It can be every day, on weekends, or on alternate days. But whatever it is, you should stick to it.
It is well said, “creative writing is a continuous process.” You can’t take a long break without thinking about your work because as a writer you can’t help. But sticking to a routine will enhance your creative side. Writers often feel blocked when they keep on thinking about the same story day and night. So following a proper timetable for writing helps.
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3. Writing Something Else
Sometimes writers face issues with the story they want to create. They already started with the story, but many other factors arrive when they proceed with the storytelling. So, they get blocked and don’t understand how to proceed. The root causes of this block can be:
- Problem in storytelling
- The plot of the story
In this case, to overcome the block, the writer can try leaving the current story and writing something new. Writing a fresh story usually helps in clearing and to overcome writer’s block. Since a new story demands new ideas so the mind gets to start fresh. In this way, you not only can invest your time in writing something else but can also get back to the old writings with new ideas.
4. Building Drafts rather than Stressing over Perfection
All writers want to achieve perfection at any cost. This leads to stress over perfection at the very start of writing. This is also one of the causes of writer’s block. The best way to deal with it is to first focus on preparing drafts rather than jumping to making them perfect.
As a writer, you first need writing and ideas. Perfection comes after achieving this. Hence, it is important to finish with the drafts and stop stressing over final writing. In order to overcome writer’s block, the writings have to be done smoothly without rushing for final writing.
5. Determine the Root of the Problem
We often have a habit of ignoring the real cause of our bad mood and like to blame several other things. So instead of choosing not to deal with the real issues, it is important to determine the root cause of the problem. Overcoming writer’s block is also about dealing with the real problems which are the root cause of the block. Hence, this can be your first step towards beating your block, to find out the real issues you are facing.
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6. Take Inspiration from Your Favorite Writers, but don’t Follow Them Blindly!
Every writer has a unique style of writing and thus represents themselves differently. As a writer, you can always take inspiration and admire the work of your fellow writers but not blindly follow them. If you do that, at some point you are bound to get stuck. It happens with every writer. This is also one of the reasons for writer’s block.
Sometimes you are so inspired by great writers that you start following them and lose your own style of writing. As a result at some point, you get stuck and not able to proceed any further which leads to blocking. So, in order to overcome writer’s block, one needs to create and have confidence in their own style of writing.
7. Eliminate Distractions
As a writer or artist, it is common to get distracted by things happening around you or in you. Distractions can be self-inflicted or due to circumstances. Eliminating distractions is one of the ways to overcome writer’s block and get back to writing. It is quite a task to actually do it but in order to get better, it has to be done.
8. Avoid Procrastination
Procrastinating or making excuses for one’s tasks leads nowhere. As a writer, you need to keep on creating and writing. Taking a longer break than needed leads to stocking of pending work and thus adds up to unfinished work.
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9. Brainstorming Ideas- it Works!
Most writers have the habit of writing down ideas into points to avoid forgetting them. As writers, you must have faced the conditions of getting too many ideas and not getting any. Brainstorming ideas and making notes of them helps in keeping the work flowing.
10. Motivating Yourself
Nothing works better than motivation. Self-motivating yourself works wonders! Always remember why you are a writer in the first place and you can always be that creative person. Positive thoughts help not only in avoiding any writer’s block but also helps in getting the best out of you. Positive motivation is the key to creative work. So, keep motivating and keep creating!
11. Shifting to Different Genre
Sometimes writing in the same genre for a time being gets to you. It can be overwhelming when you keep writing your stories around the same old genre. So, switching to a different genre helps. It not only directs your mind in a different direction but also lets you try something new.
12. Changing Your Circle
It helps! Sometimes your circle can be the reason for your block. Surround yourself with new people and try communicating with them. New people, new ideas! Changing the circle of people has helped many for the better and also can help to overcome writer’s block.
Read and read more! It is a proven solution to any mental block. Reading helps to get involved in a story where the reader is free to imagine his/her own version of the story. As a writer, if you are facing a block, try giving time to reading. Reading activates your brain to get involved in a story and enables you to think broadly.
14. Taking Professional Help
There may be some cases when you are not able to overcome writer’s block for a longer period of time. In that case, taking help from a professional is also suggested. There are many people out there ready to provide the required help. Overcoming writer’s block is entirely a mind thing and can get better if tried harder. In some cases, help from a professional is also welcomed.
Frequently asked Questions
- How to cure writer’s block?
It’s simple! Try the above-mentioned steps and you will get there in no time. Overcoming writer’s block is no biggie if you keep trying for your passion for writing. If you want, you can also try taking a course on it which many universities offer.
- What causes writer’s block?
It can be anything! Change of outside environment or stress to perform great. But mostly, block happens from inside of a writer. Lack of self-motivation or lack of motivation from others also leads to block. However, trying to get over it always works.
- How long does writer’s block last?
It depends totally on the writer. How one tries hard to overcome it and face the fears. It can last for days, weeks, or even a year. Avoid procrastination and act as soon as you can. Surely you will get there and unblock it in no time.
- How do I get rid of my writer’s bump?
You can try soaking your hands in warm water for 10-20 minutes. Let it relax for a while and apply some moisturizing cream. You can also try giving a slow message for your muscles to relax. Use a washcloth or nail file to help gently remove the dead skin cells.
- Is writer’s block bad?
Not at all. It is very common for any writer and can happen to anyone. However, if it is for a very long time that may not be good for a writer. You can overcome it while trying hard and remembering your passion for writing. You will soon get back to your track.
The above-mentioned are some great ways to get rid of writer’s block. Writing is not at all easy nor the process but all issues end where you keep up the motivation and keep creating your best work.
It is said, “ The best thing about writing is that there are no restrictions about writing, one can write anything! You can imagine your own world and get lost in it. Your writings are your world! Writing is all about getting involved in all kinds of thoughts and putting them in words. One who writes liberates himself from all the boundaries…”