A car without petrol simply doesn’t run. It stays still, stationary. A writer exhausted of creativity or ideas similarly just doesn’t work. Their work stands still. And this phenomenon is commonly known as “the writer’s block”.
Honestly, the term ‘writer’s block’ is quite misleading. If you Google the meaning of the term, the answers that you get will convey one message and one message only.
Writer’s block is a situation wherein a writer doesn’t “feel” like writing and hence, stops writing. From a real-world perspective, however, this statement is untrue. When a writer experiences ‘writer’s block’, he/she doesn’t wish to write. In all probability, they want to write more than anyone else.
The problem lies in the temporary disappearance of their creative and ideation powers which leaves them, therefore, handicapped to write.
To summarise, ‘writer’s block’ is just a situation of temporary paralysis in the writer’s ideation and creative thought process. It’s a problem that’s common to all writers.
You may be a content writer, a novel writer or a poet; but if you are saying that throughout the course of your life you haven’t encountered ‘writer’s block’ even once; unfortunately then, there’s a high probability that you are lying.
As a writer, you may experience ‘writer’s block’ at any time. It comes with no warnings. You cannot be “prepared”. You just have to deal with it.
Sometimes you are to blame and sometimes, it’s your surroundings that are to blame. Whatever may be the reason, there’s no need to panic. It’s completely normal.
- 1 Causes of ‘Writer’s Block’
- 2 Remedies for ‘Writer’s Block’
- 3 Final Words
Causes of ‘Writer’s Block’
1. The timing is not right.
Writer’s have no fixed working hours. A work schedule with no fixed timings seems strenuous and indeed, yes it is.
When you are working around the clock, with no breaks in between, giving your mind absolutely no time to rest; that’s when you can best experience a ‘writer’s block’. The reason is simple; your mind is exhausted, the timing for your “brain-storming” session is completely off.
Maybe it’s too late in the night, maybe, it’s just too early in the morning. When you cannot give an explanation for the blankness that you are experiencing, the reason is probably poor timing.
2. The fear to voice one’s opinion uncensored.
‘Writer’s block’ is an excuse that’s often used by writers to shy away from their uncensored opinion on certain subject matters.
As a writer, you have an opinion. But due to societal and political factors; it may not always be possible to express them explicitly. Writers then face a challenge in trying to express their opinion implicitly.
Doing this is not an easy task and in the process, many writers face ‘writer’s block’.
3. The fear of being labeled ‘mediocre’.
Writer’s are artists. Artists like to express themselves through their work. Thus, if their work is brilliant, it means that they are brilliant.
Writer’s have complex personalities suffer from numerous inferiority complexes. Perfection lies at the core of all that they do and all that they think, especially with reference to their work. But being perfect is never easy.
The word ‘perfect’ has a subjective definition and hence, writer’s struggle to reach this ‘perfection’. Many times a writer may have a number of writing ideas but still chooses not to write and assume a status of ‘writer’s block’ because of their unhappiness with the idea.
Writer’s block is nearly like an everyday problem for writer’s. Writers, being an imaginative lot have come up with multiple different solutions to this simple problem. In fact, every writer has their own favorite remedy with which to treat their ‘writer’s block’.
Remedies for ‘Writer’s Block’
#1 – Go for a walk:
Walking is a physical activity which pumps oxygen into your blood. With more oxygen being pumped into your blood, ultimately what you are doing is “refreshing your body”.
Physical activity is a great way to overcome mental fatigue and walking is the simplest and least tiring of all physical activities that can help you get through your writer’s block in a jiffy!
This method may have even been used by some of you while studying for your examinations in school or college. Let’s just say; it’s tried and tested.
#2 – Shift your location:
A change in environment can help break the monotony of your thoughts. A new location will give rise to new thoughts.
A different location can inspire you in multiple ways and help you overcome your writer’s block quickly. So when you just can’t think of something anymore, just go to another room and think again.
#3 – Read:
When you are suffering from ‘writer’s block’, you are in desperate need of some inspiration. Instead of searching for this inspiration blindly and thus, in the process wasting a lot of valuable time; it would be great if you choose to read a book or some other kind of content.
If you are feeling stressed, choose something relaxing. If you are looking for inspiration, find something to read that you feel will help you in your ideation process.
For example: If you are writing a blog post on “dogs” and are looking for some inspiration, Google ‘dog blog posts’ and look through some of the content displayed on those blogs to help you get an idea.
#4 – Do whatever it is that you like or find distressing:
Much of the time, writers suffer from ‘writer’s block’ due to the stress that they encounter in their field of work.
Deadlines, publishers, concept etc.; figuring out these things can be a stressful job. When a writer suffers from stress, he/she most likely also suffer from ‘writer’s block’ simultaneously.
Therefore; one of the best solutions is to just chill and de-stress. Make a coffee; listen to your favorite music, go play outside, go for a run or just go and spend some time with your friends or family.
The sooner you destress yourself, the sooner the flow of ideas will hit.
#5 – Note down your ideas in an organized manner:
Many times, writers have a plethora of options available to them, in the form of ideas.
However, these ideas are so jumbled across and disorganized that writer’s themselves find it hard to make sense of these ideas. It reaches a state wherein one doesn’t even know where to start from. That’s the ‘writer’s block’ stage.
To deal with this “occupational hazard”; it’s advisable for writers to note down their ideas categorically in an organized manner. The ideas can be written “theme-wise”; in bullet-points.
This enhances readability and brings a degree of clarity to the content. Small organizational steps such as these can help you deal with ‘writer’s block’ in a more efficient manner.
A lot has been said about ‘writer’s block’. What ‘writer’s block’ is, its causes as well as its remedies. So far, the tone of this article has been sympathetic towards the writers. In that respect, this last segment is going to be slightly different.
If you are suffering from ‘writer’s block’; you are probably in a negative frame of mind. The longer you stay in that negative frame of mind; the bigger is your problem.
If you want to get out of it, you need to adopt a positive outlook towards this problem that you are facing. You cannot get out of ‘writer’s block’ by:
‘Waiting’ to be inspired. Don’t ‘wait’ to be inspired. That’s a lazy approach. Instead, go ahead and search for inspiration. Read up some inspirational quotes, re-read your last works, read some new books; do something to get inspired rather than wait for something to happen to you.
Feeling sad for yourself. Life is unfair, accept it. Don’t wallow in your sadness. Don’t think about the ‘what if’s’ and everything. Focus on the current problem at hand. Come up with a plan to overcome this problem and follow through with it.
Millennials are all too familiar with this problem. It’s almost as though they were cursed. Regardless, if you are suffering from ‘writer’s block’; please, please don’t procrastinate.
It will end badly. You will end up overburdening yourself with work, which will stress you out, which in turn, will have a negative impact on your mental health.
To conclude, ‘writer’s block’ is an exaggerated problem. All writer’s face this problem on an everyday basis. In fact, it’s not a problem, it’s an occupational hazard.
But if you were to consult a writer’s opinion on the ‘writer’s block’; there’s a high probability that the answer will have a positive connotation to it. Overcoming the ‘writer’s block’ is what makes writing so much more fun and challenging.
Think of it like this. ‘Writer’s block’ is a duel between a writer and his mind. We all love the winning feeling. A writer, too, wants to win all the time.
Articles such as this make the writer’s work a little bit simpler. By understanding the problem, exposure to possible solutions, writer’s are now better equipped in this duel and have the better odds on them!