Writer’s Block: What It Is, Why It Exists, And How You Can Overcome It
by Zainab Muhammad
Writer’s block is a condition in which a writer is unproductive over a period of time. This could refer to an author’s inability to continue writing, or to start new projects. Writer’s block has been a documented problem for years and many notable writers have suffered from this condition.
It is very possible that a person finds their muse after a while, so writer’s block isn’t something you should overly worry about. Of course, it can be annoying, especially when you desperately need to write, as in the case of a deadline, which is why in the later parts of this article we would be discussing how to deal with writer’s block. Before that, let’s look at the causes of writer’s block.
The causes of writer’s block could be:
A lack of inspiration:
A lack of inspiration refers to a situation in which a writer runs out of writing ideas. Truth is, there’s always inspiration, but not every writer constantly receives inspiration. In the latter part of this article, I’d explain how to never run out of things to write about.
Distraction by Other Events:
It is important to have a life outside writing, but sometimes, an imbalance between writing and other events could cause inability to write for a while.
This happens when writers feel like they aren’t as good as people perceive them to be. This could kill their confidence and make writing difficult.
Pressures to Meet a Deadline:
While deadlines boost productivity for some writers, the pressure to meet a deadline could cause writer’s block for others. This may be because the brain is forced to work in a way in which it doesn’t naturally operate. And the writer is forced to leave his comfort zone.
Other reasons could include stress, depression, or illness.
Why Writer’s Block exists:
Writer’s block in my opinion is completely normal. I believe it’s our brain’s way of taking a sometimes needed, but unauthorized break. The reasons writer’s block exist could vary from writer to writer. Most times, a writer’s ability to identify the cause of writer’s block could be an easy way to tackle it.
How to Overcome Writer’s Block:
Develop a Writing Routine:
Creating a writing routine trains the mind to always write at a particular time. This can come in handy because it puts the mind in a state to write once it’s that time of the day. Creating a writing routine would help you appreciate the power of habits.
Identify the Cause:
Identifying the cause of your writer’s block is like solving a puzzle halfway. Figure out if it’s caused by anxiety or pressure to meet a deadline, boredom, depression or a physical illness. It could be caused by anything. And it is your responsibility as a writer to figure out the cause of your writer’s block.
Engage in non Writing Activities:
This is one of the best ways to never run out of ideas, and the easiest way to quit writing. But one thing you should keep in mind is, our writings revolve around human/animal behaviours and interactions. So having a life outside writing gives you a clearer view of individual daily experiences and challenges, and I tell you, these are elements that make writings better!
Don’t Think, Just Write:
This is the part where you expect me to tell you how to ‘just write’ when you’re here because you can’t get words out. Well, I tell you, the secret is for you to just write. It doesn’t have to make sense or be ‘good enough’, just, write. Write about how your day went, the food you ate, what pissed you off. It doesn’t have to be work related, just make sure to write everyday, even when you do not feel like it.
Pay attention to the World Around You:
Pay more attention to colours, the sound of laughter, the sound of animals, the noise at the bus stop, people’s behaviour and interactions. Be more present in the present, and be genuinely interested in your environment. All these and more are story ideas waiting for you to pick them up.
Let me know in the comments if you found this helpful. Feel free to tell me how you’ve dealt with writer’s block so far. Remember, I’m rooting for you!