Blogger, writer, copywriter – everyone has had writer’s block at least once. The condition was described by Edmund Bergler (1947); much time has elapsed since, and many artists have experienced this oppressing feeling. Note: Writer’s block isn’t a disease; it isn’t something that person should treat, it’s normal condition happening to every artistic soul.
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What Causes Writer’s Block?
The reasons are different: Stanford University, Professor James L. Adams (book titled “Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas”), says the reason could be the simple lack of motivation or a sense of failure. It could be a psychological reason or due to external factors that influence a person's life. Even simple malaise is a key factor in writer’s block; anyone can suffer from it. You just need to realize how to deal with it.
Writer’s Block Types
The inability to work on new ideas has many causes. A creative slowdown has several different types; once you understand the reason, it will be easier to handle creativity issues. Learn how to overcome the syndrome:
- A writer wakes up in the morning to discover he cannot generate new ideas longer; he keeps working on the same page unable to write the opening line. It’s difficult to offer new ideas; the person has no clue what to discuss, and other activities appear more exciting to him. Don’t worry: the most distinguished authors face this issue which forces them to hire ghostwriters to work on their books. Overcome the problem by practicing different exercises mentioned below.
- Having no ideas is the opposite phenomenon: the author gets stuck while his head is ready to explode. Being overloaded with different ideas create obstacles on the way to a new masterpiece. Writers have ideas which are not interconnected; they try to choose the most exciting plots, but they fail to focus. Keep in mind one small advice: the best points are those showing up immediately – don’t lose your chance to catch them!
- Having an outline which you can’t handle. We are taught from the early ages every professional is supposed to have a writing plan – outline. Some authors feel confident each time they return to outlines to check what is coming next. Other authors drive off the chosen road. A creative writing does not need outline – it is time to forget essays and research papers you used to write at school! A good writer should not feel limited by any factors.
- The worst thing ever reported by the distinguished authors which makes them turn to expert help is getting stuck half way to success. It is possible to overcome this writer’s block symptom with an outline. It is the opposite of the previous sign. Sometimes, a student is full of bright tips and ideas day long, so he feels exhausted on the next morning. It prevents him from working on the piece: a student cannot recall what he was writing.
- A person finds his work taking the wrong path. Professionals who felt they came up with the best idea yesterday start feeling it is not worthy of being discussed in the morning. It is the consequence of the syndrome which is prevented by re-reading/reviewing the entire text. What is important: don’t lose faith and never get bored with the existing characters/plotline. Believe in yourself!
How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 10 Block-breakers that Work
Read these tips to discover how to overcome writer block effectively:
- Write, write and write
Some people overcome creative block by writing: they literally force themselves to write against the will. Maya Angelou tries to write until her muse comes, Norman Mailer, in The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing, said that the secret is to prepare your unconscious mind to do the work.
Just keep writing, even if you have no idea what to write about. Write simple things, write stupid things, write again and again and once you do, will find your problem has disappeared.
- Close your laptop and have fun
Sometimes we just become stressed because of deadlines, the editor, or we are worrying about our future readers. Just forget about it for an hour, clear your mind, go for a walk or phone a friend and have a drink.
- Stop writing for your readers
John Steinbeck shared advice from his friend that helped him often. He said, “Pretend you’re writing, not to your editor or an audience or to a readership, to someone close, like your sister, or your mother, or someone else.”
Just choose the person you'd most like to write for and write for them; why not?
- Write about things that matter to you
Even if writing is your passion, the routine can kill the joy. Leave the article you have to write and just write something you want to. Get your feelings get off your chest.
- Create an atmosphere
Sometimes all we need to focus on writing is to create the right atmosphere; turn on your favorite music or relaxing sounds: the sound of rain, fire, birds, dolphins, etc. Make hot chocolate or aromatic coffee with milk, find your cat if you have one, light a fire: do everything that calms you and helps you concentrate on work.
- Tidy up
One of the best ways to put your thoughts in order is to organize a workplace. Throw away unneeded clutter and tidy your room, it will help you to avoid writing distraction.
- Browse your old photos
Remind yourself of how you started your career, who helped you, who inspired you. Sometimes it’s worth learning who you are, so answer, “How have your life, friends, and travels influenced your job?”
- Look at writer’s block as growth
You are not running of ideas; you are growing professionally, trying to find exclusive, unresearched ones.
- Listen to music
Simple things (music, sounds, films, touches) can raise your spirits and inspire you to write something new.
- Read books
If you lack inspiration, read authors who inspire you. The best teachers for you are classics: Saket Suryesh in her article “Why Writers Should Read the Classics” says: “The classics illustrate for us the possibilities that language holds if we were patient enough to look, dedicated enough to try. They inspire us to overcome the sloth which makes us use words carelessly.”