We all feel lost and confused sometimes in our writing journey. You find yourself staring at the unending blink of the cursor on a fresh page on your computer and all you can muster is a blank. Writer’s block is the inability of a writer to come up with new content and causes them to be on a slowdown and find it difficult to proceed with their writing.
Writer’s block does not mean that a writer has lost their creative touch or ability to write. It means that they may just be stuck, lost inspiration or are distracted by an event e.g. their personal lives, careers, health, etc. Other reasons why writers go through this is that they may be afraid to showcase their ideas to the world hence self-sabotaging themselves. Many writers also have the fear of their work being compared to others and also lack motivation from themselves and others.
Procrastination also does a number on many writers as they are never able to complete their writing at the expected time. A writer will find themselves putting off work sometimes just due to sheer laziness which affects their productivity.
So how do you overcome writer’s block?
This is where you write freely on any topic that comes at the top of your head. Do not be too keen to focus on grammar or spelling; just write. To do this, find a space where you are comfortable writing in. You can set a timer to some minutes and write during that time frame. This helps build your confidence and set you back on track.
Freewriting has proven to give more ideas and nudge you from the block you are going through. It reassures your self-confidence and sets you free from doubt and self-consciousness which all contribute to writer’s block. In turn, your inspiration is awakened and you can go back to your normal writing.
Stepping away from your writing and doing something totally different helps one relax and re-focus. Getting your mind off things has proven to work effectively as one is able to see their work with a new set of eyes.
You can indulge in other creative works, go out for a stroll, swim, read a book, hang out with friends, participating in a favorite hobby, etc. Anything to get your blood pumped and get you going. These activities usually give you the inspiration you need to get back to your writing.
Distractions play a major role in experiencing writer’s block. Writing in a space that has noise or people who will not allow you to concentrate usually leads to your writer’s block. It is always advisable to write in a space that is silent and conducive for your thoughts and ideas.
Your phone and internet is also a distraction that you can avoid. Being on your phone especially on social sites will definitely distract you and make you unproductive. These distractions kill your creativity and inspiration and make it hard for you to go back to work. Also, your workspace should be neat and organized as a cluttered desk brings a state of confusion.
Developing a routine will help you keep track of what to need to do. You can set up a routine that involves writing at a particular time especially when you feel you are most productive e.g. morning or night. When you only write ‘when creative’ you are most likely to experience writer’s block as it might take a while for you to get inspiration and be creative. It is advisable to make a routine on when to write and stick to it as it instills discipline and consistency.
Sometimes writer’s block stems from external issues that we might be going through in our lives. You might be feeling the pressure from another job especially if writing is not your full-time job, you could also have pressure to finish your work in time or even second doubting your ability to write and see yourself as good enough.
You could also be going through personal issues e.g. you or a loved one is sick, financial constraints, dealing with death, loss of a job, etc. Identifying the root cause of your block and dealing with it will definitely help you get back on track.
As a writer, find out what works best for you to get your creative juices coursing through your veins once again. Identify the best way for you to avoid being stuck for a while.
Lastly, you will not overcome your writer’s block when you wallow in self-pity and self-doubt due to your inability to write. You will also not overcome by failing to write up until you feel inspired or creative; push yourself to want to write. In addition, procrastination and pushing your writing to a later date will not ‘cure’ your block.