Causes and Cures of Writer’s Block
If you’re a writer of any kind – whether a blogger, novelist or maybe a corporate writer, you’ve probably experienced that terrible thing known as writer’s block. You sit at your computer and stare at an empty page, your fingers are ready to type, but nothing is coming to mind. It can be one of the most frustrating parts of being a writer – especially if it’s what you do for a living.
Rest assured, though, that you are not alone. Writer’s block is very much a common thing that most writer’s experience, regardless of how experienced a writer you are. You may also feel better about the fact that there are plenty of ways to cure it and get you back to writing to your best ability. There is no science behind it, but sometimes just clearing your head and doing something non-writing related is just the trick.
First, take a look at some of the common causes of this crazy thing called ‘writer’s block’:
Time: It might just not be the time to write! Maybe you’ve had a long day, or you have a baby crying on your lap, or you’re hungry. Whatever the case may be, if you feel it’s not the right time to write, take a break and come back to it at a different time.
Overthinking: Sometimes fear can get the best of us and cause writer’s block. Perhaps you’re afraid of what ideas you have in your head and are struggling to put it out there on paper. The best thing to do is not think too much about your ideas and just write whatever comes to mind. You can always go back and edit later.
Expectations: You’re expecting whatever your write on paper to be the best work for that particular project. Try to not expect anything from your first draft.
Here’s the thing to remember about writer’s block – it’s an art, not a science. So there’s no real solution to curing writer’s block and no real way to find what causes it. However, there are certainly ways to help it and get your thought process back on track and it’s a lot more simple than you’d expect. In fact, they are probably things you do on a regular basis anyways.
So now we come to the possible cures for writer’s block:
- Take a walk.
- Remove anything that could be distracting.
- Get a work out in.
- Do something that doesn’t require thinking.
- Work from a new place.
- Read something.
- Put some mind stimulating music on.
- Make yourself a cup of coffee.
- Pick a consistent time of day to write.
- Spend time with a loved one.
- Call someone and talk on the phone for a bit.
- Read quotes or something motivating.
These have all been known to help clear the mind a create space for your creative writing. Once you start with a clear head in the right direction, you’ll be able to pick up momentum to finish your writing.
There are a ton of ways that are not efficient when trying to overcome writer’s block. Take a look:
- You will not cure writer’s block by waiting for the right time.
- You will not cure writer’s block by feeling sorry for yourself.
- You will not cure writer’s block by procrastinating or putting your writing off.
- You will not cure writer’s block by watching TV.
- You will not cure writer’s block by reading articles on how to overcome writer’s block (/laugh/).
There is one last thing to consider if you still find yourself in that dark hole of writer’s block – go write. Something. Anything. Whether you’re writing a tweet, your grocery list, in your journal about your day, a text message…just write something. If you start to write, maybe not about what you should be writing about, but writing, you’ll get your creative juices flowing to get yourself back on track.
When you really think about it, it’s just writing and it really shouldn’t be all that hard to do. Don’t be worried if it totally stinks at your first shot, every writer goes through this. Just get in the right mindset and you’ll find yourself finished with your writing sooner than you know!
Are you a writer with a helpful cure for writer’s block? Perhaps you just want to vent because you can never seem to get out of your writer’s block funk? We’d love to hear your suggestions or frustration, so feel free to share them with us in the comments below!
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