What is it and how to get past it!
There are times in a writer’s life when they have no energy or motivation to write. They may stare at a blank page not knowing what to write. Not knowing where to start.
This can be for a few days or weeks. It is a difficult time for a writer. Most will tell you this is a frustrating situation to be in. So, what is this issue?
Well, according to Wikipedia, this is known as writer’s block. This is how Wikipedia defines it:
a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.
What causes writer’s block:
There are several reasons for a writer to feel blocked. If you don’t know what is causing your block, how can you overcome it? When you’re blocked it is easy to feel like you are being unproductive. You can feel like your writing career has taken a large step backward. It is not a good feeling to have. it can bring you down and make you feel depressed. Here are some of the most common causes of writer’s block:
- Fear of failure
All writers tend to have a fear of failure at some point in their lives. They may have family and friends that they are wasting time trying to have a full time writing career. Their told that they are no good and they will never make any money writing. Some don’t let it affect their career. But for others, it can take over their dream of writing. Sometimes it can cause a writer to give up on writing completely.
Some don’t get very far with writing because they are always going over every word they write. There trying to make it perfect the first time around. They don’t feel free to write everything in their head all out on paper or computer screen. It must be perfect. With this holding them back they can’t get anything written. Or if they do actually write something they have to go back over and over it many times. This will take them forever to get any fair amount written.
- Imposter syndrome
For those who write nonfiction or blog, this is a common one to go through. They may not consider themselves an expert on what they are writing. So what happens? They feel like they are an imposter and that people will see right through them. This isn’t how it actually is in real life, but it is how they feel none the less. It can cause them to give up and not want to write.
It could be that you are trying to do too much too fast. Or you’re trying too do too much in a day. Or you have a full-time day job that you work 60 hours a week and a family to take care of. This can make things difficult. When this happens you may be running on empty and need to take a step back and recharge. Suffering from exhaustion is not a way for you to be productive with your writing. It makes you put it off again and again. Try working only a few hours one day a week when you are off of work. Like a Saturday or a Sunday.
- You’re distracted
It is impossible to write when you’re distracted. You may have lots of people around you. Or a tragedy has happened in your family. Or, it is right now when we in the world is having to deal with the Covid 19. This has everyone distracted. Kids are home and everyones shut in the house unable to go anywhere other than to get food and necessities.
It’s hard. I understand. I have am shut in the house for the past 2 weeks and I have 5 other people in the house causing all kinds of distractions. This has caused me to be very unproductive when it comes to my writing. My medium earnings have gone down a lot the past couple of months. Mostly because of so many people in the house causing my distraction.
It is my hope that in the next few weeks I am able to get into an apartment of my own with my daughter. I hope that with the two of us I will be less distracted and be more productive. Then my case of writer’s block will be gone completely. What I am lacking is routines. My routines without a house full of people interrupting or changing them on me.
- Pressure from previous success
Have you had a book or two already published and found some success with them? This can cause you to become blocked also. You may be afraid that your next project will not do as well. Or that your books will stop doing well. Fear is a very powerful thing. It can stifle your creativity. OK so your not afraid that you won’t succeed again, but you are afraid you will. And you won’t know how to handle the situation should it arise. If you have never succeeded at something before and all the sudden you do, it can be hard to handle.
How to overcome writer’s block:
So, now that we know what can cause writer’s block we need to figure out how to overcome it. This can be easy and it can become difficult to get rid of it. Depending on the circumstances and what is causing the block. In this next section, I will talk about several different ways to try and overcome writer’s block. if you want to know more read on and I will tell you.
- Plot out your book or articles
I know you may be a panser but sometimes doing some plotting can help with writer’s block. It gives you an idea of what you want to write or how to write it. It doesn’t have to be an extensive outline. In fact, it doesn’t have to be an outline in the traditional sense. List some scenes you may want to add. Or topics you wish to write about.
- Keep a writers notebook
whether it is on paper or on your phone write down all your ideas, quotes you find interesting, writing prompts, and everything else you can think of. This will help you to keep from forgetting things that may find a place in your writing one day. This also helps to give you ideas about what to write about.
- End distractions
Try writing in a quiet room of the house and close the door. Or you could wake up before everyone else to get some writing done. If you are able you could even stay up a little later after the family goes to bed to do your writing.
- Read a book
Reading books is very important for writers. This is not only to entertain but also to learn more about the writing process. When you read books in the same genres you write in, you can see how they are written. It ccan even give you ideas for your own book. As long as you don’t copy word for word from them.
- Free write
You can start out by freewriting until you begin to get into the flow of writing. Sometimes this is all it takes to get your creative juices flowing.
Start by asking: “what if….” Then begin asking questions. Don’t worry if they are impossible or plain crazy. The point is to get your creativity going. Start with a single idea, sentence, or prompt. Then begin asking your what-if questions. See where it takes you.
- Create a writers routine
Create a routine to get you in the writing mode. For instance: get a cup of your favorite beverage, light a candle, put some background on, and sit down to write. This is only an example. Your routine may be different. But this can help get you into the writing process easier.
- Write something else
If you are stuck on a work in progress, put it away for a while. Go onto something else. Sometimes when you set a piece of work away then come back a few day, weeks, or months later your coming back at it with fresh eyes. This can bring back your creativity.
- Take a shower
When you’re stuck on a work in progress take a shower and let your mind wander. Not only will you feel refreshed, but this can also help your mind work it out in the background.
The same as taking a shower you can work it out in your head. Just let your mind wander while you’re exercising. Sometimes when your doing mindless tasks your mind takes over. You can then come up with ideas you couldn’t before.
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