The frustration is real. Isn’t it? You just sit there, stare at the blank page, and wait for the right words to pop up. Well, the muse won’t magically appear and inspire. It’s time to spring into action. All writers have been there, done that. This is the writer’s block and surprise, it has found you.
As maddening it is, overcoming a writer’s block is urgent, delicate, and subjective. There is no panacea to it. But there are definitely some handy tricks floating about the writer’s community to help.
Just like a doctor follows a carefully chalked out plan, all authors and novelists tackle this inevitable enemy in a sequentially practical way.
If your creative juices refuse to flow, halt immediately, and adopt these tricks used by great writers, novelists and creators. Get inspiration for writing again and smash that writer’s block in the face!
What is a Writer’s Block?
Writer's block is a condition where the right words don’t click, the right thoughts don't strike and consequently, a writer is unable to write. This situation is a major speed bump in otherwise free-flowing creative processes. Writer's block is as old as writing and was officially granted a name in the 1940s by Edmund Bergler (psychiatrist).
Fear not. It is common and curable. We are going to identify the problem, analyze it and cure it.
If you have a hunch that it’s a writer’s block causing an obstruction in your writing, it is time to identify the symptoms.
Sit with this checklist and tick mark against these common symptoms of writer's block:
- Stress (in abundance)
- Lack of focus
- Fear of writing the wrong words
- Vagueness in thoughts
- Inability to find the right words, the correct stream of thought or develop/complete an idea
- Incapacity to perceive or understand a topic
- Desperation to hunt for ideas
What is the verdict? It is writer's block, isn't it? (Yikes). Sit back. After identification, it is time to analyze the root cause.
What causes writer’s block?
After Bergler, psychologists Jerome Singer and Michael Barrios started exploring the reasons for this creative block. They assembled an entire team of creatively frozen and fecund writers, only to discover these four main causes of writer’s block:
Lack of external motivation: whereas it is extremely important to be internally motivated, extrinsic, or external motivation is a major benefactor too. Upliftment in the form of praise, attention, and recognition recharges and functions as an ego-boost. Writers devoid of it have a fear of producing sub-par work and internalize a terror.
Anger can also trigger writer’s block. This anger stems from excessive self-criticism or feeling rejected too many times.
This is the fear of not being able to produce good enough work.
A monotonous, dull writing routine can incite writer’s block. It can make you apathetic to the art to an extent that you become passive.
All these major factors work in harmony to negatively influence a writer’s mind and deter him from producing quality work.
How to overcome writer's block?
This dreaded part of a writer’s journey is easily curable. It is not a disease but simply writers own psychology playing tricks. Thankfully, there are practical ways to overcome writer’s block. Let’s jump directly to the twelve remedies.
Jog your thoughts
Think about something else for a change and try to free write without focussing on grammar, spelling, and the like. It will help to vent out your views effectively.
Take a break
The best cure for writer’s block is to give it some time. Try doing something else and get back to your writing after days, weeks or months.
A fresher perspective
Look at your work from a new angle. It’s better if you read it from an outsider's point of view. This way you can easily spot and fill the gaps. Easier said than done. We know! There are a couple of exercises that can help you with this.
Go for a walk or a hike
A walk in the woods is a breeze to the mind. Inhale some fresh air and let the exertion from a hike, release some endorphins so that happy thoughts flush your mind and improve your writing.
Loosen up and start fresh
The idea here is to stop being technical and create a fresh draft like an amateur.
Adopt a new setting
A change of environment can potentially motivate crisp new ideas and switch your mind frame and help unblock.
Fall back to your creative routine
All creators have a routine that induces and intensifies their art creation. Fall back to this regime and dive mindfully deeper into it to explore and replenish.
Listen to music
Music and mental health are related like no other pair. Music is the single most powerful cure to a jilted heart or mind. Let the melodies of your favourite genre of music take you to a creative trance.
Take a shower
A hot or cold shower is a highly used practical method to unlock your creativity.
Stop being too critical
Self-deprecation is the biggest cause of writer’s block. Take a peek and see if you are being too harsh with yourself. Too much editing and rewriting hints towards this criticism.
Get rid of distractions
Many times distractions stimulate writer’s block. Excessive notifications on your computer can be distracting you from work. Take some time off, switch off those devices, and write in the traditional ways - a fresh page, a fresh start.
Work in chunks
To not break off from your flow of writing, it is better to continue it in separate chunks. Since the most difficult part is to establish a connection and it can be done towards the end.
All the best writers must have a perfect blend of the techniques up their arsenal to deal with unforeseen situations like this one. They are the most vital aspects to upskill in writing prepares you for a spectrum of challenges. Think you can help your fellow writers overcome ‘writer’s block?' Join the global skill community of writers on Kool Stories. We have created a one-of-a-kind social skill-sharing app for learners and skilled individuals to learn in each other's company and monetize their skills by making valuable contributions to the community through their content. Download Kool Stories and set forth on a global knowledge-sharing movement.
Frequently Asked Queries
Q1. What does writer's block feel like?
A writer’s block is a subjective experience but anyone facing it is surrounded by clouds of self-doubt, lack of creative ideas and motivation to write, dissatisfaction and indecisiveness, the inadequacy of free-flowing word, opinions and storyline and a constant state of confusion.
Q2. What causes writer's block?
Writer’s block or the mental obstruction faced by writers is a common problem in the community that can arise due to one or all of the following reasons:
1.Too many or too few ideas
2.The aspiration to do something extraordinary with your writing
3.Inability to realise your ideas into reality
4.The fear of failure to impress your audience
5.Running away from the actual task of writing
6.Doing excessive revisions and editing
7.Anxiety or depression carried forward to writing
9.Fear of rejection
10.Pent up frustration
11.Distraction from social media or environment
Q3. Is writer's block normal?
Encountering writer’s block is normal, and even the best wordsmiths across the world face it.
Q4. How long does writer's block last?
There is no particular time frame until which your writer’s block will last. Depending upon the mental block you face as a creative person and its severity, it can last up to a day, a month or even a year.
Q5. What is the fastest way to cure writer's block?
If you have a serious case of writer’s block, try these six most effective solutions to unblock your creative rut:
1.Write something totally unrelated to the task at hand.
2.Sleep on it and analyse what is causing the mental block.
3.Get a change of location.
4.Listen to a podcast or something more conversational in nature.
5.Read something out of your niche.
6.Draw your ideas on a whiteboard.