A writer’s worst enemy. It is a condition associated with writing, where an author is unable to write a new work or not able to tap into his creative imagination. It doesn’t occur only in story writing; it can also happen in report writing, content writing, script writing or diary writing.
Every Writer faces it, no matter their career path, at least once in their career. Everyone experiences Writer’s block, either beginner or a professional, once in a while.
Types of Writer’s block
- Audience’s reaction – Often, while a writer starts a new work or continues their previous work, they imagine their target audience and their response. It could help the Writer focus on filling up a few gaps in their piece. But sometimes, when they imagine the audience becoming too critical or judgmental, it can kill the writing process due to the fear of backlash or failure.
- Being a perfectionist – NO writer wants to publish a piece that looks bad and gets a lot of criticism. So, sometimes, even if the part is genuinely good, they keep redoing it and adding elements, trying to make it perfect. Due to this, the actual good work might get lost.
- Complexities – If there is a plot hole or the Writer gets bored with the current theme they are working on, they lose interest in writing. They are unable to write something new or complete the unfinished project. The reasons due to complexities in a novel can be different. Still, even one complexity or a tiny problem can sometimes cause Writer’s block.
- Getting distracted – the ambience in which a writer sits and writers is essential for their creativity to flow easily. It gets tricky when living with someone or in a constantly disturbing environment. It leads them to forget what they were working on and create Writer’s block. Sometimes, the writers get overly indulged in their research and forget what they were focusing on to write or get distracted due to social media or personal issues.
Famous Writers with Writer’s block
Famous writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Mitchell, Charles M. Schulz, Adele, and Sergei Rachmaninoff have often experienced Writer’s block. Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, J. K. Rowling, Stephen King and Sylvia Plath are famous writers who suffered from Writer’s block.
Earlier, people couldn’t define Writer’s block and used to declare few writers as emotionally unstable. Later, few psychologists published research on this, and even before that, many famous writers had already suffered from Writer’s block. Few writers also declared that they quit writing altogether due to Writer’s block.
Writer’s block – Friend or Foe?
There is a myth about Writer’s block that once the authors suffer from it, they cannot overcome it and quit writing altogether. Although few authors have stopped writing, it doesn’t mean one cannot overcome it. One has to remember that nothing is impossible.
Many consider Writer’s block as a writer’s worst enemy. But that’s not true. Sometimes, when you are stuck or cannot stop writing, taking a step back, calming down, and gaining your thoughts is good. Believe in the process. And Writer’s block is the part of the process that helps you regain strength, refocus on yourself and rewrite freshly.
Use the extra time to spend time with important people in your life or do mundane things as well. So, is Writer’s block a friend or a foe? It depends on the quality of time one spends instead of pitying or blaming themselves.
Ways to overcome Writer’s block
It is essential to understand the cause behind your Writer’s block. Sometimes, the reason is not apparent to our eyes, so it’s good to take a break. Let’s discuss a few ways to overcome Writer’s block.
- Have a daily schedule – Plan your daily routine based on your sleeping pattern. If you stay up all night to write, stop doing that, and take a nap for a change. Get up early and pen for a few hours or minutes.
Consider taking long showers. Change your diet. Try new recipes. Cook. Concentrate on your mental and physical health. Exercise and meditate. Remove distractions. And also, take out time for an hour or two every day to experience new things or complete that to-do list or bucket list.
- Talk, Talk and Talk – Be it a pep talk, or talking rubbish, keep talking.
More importantly, talk to yourself. Consider talking to a fellow writer or someone you trust in your writing process. Talk to someone in your writing community.
Talk to yourself when you are walking or trekking. Ask yourself questions. Go to a quiet room, sit alone with your thoughts and talk to yourself. Sometimes, it’s just good to be free from all the ideas trapped in your chest.
- Write, Write and Write – You don’t have to start writing something new or continue the previous work forcibly. Write rubbish, scribble. Get involved in other things, such as script writing, diary writing, journaling, blog writing, content writing, report writing, letter writing or any other unfamiliar or familiar0 form of writing.
Instead of your usual writing method, write in different books, such as a small notebook or sticky notes. Listen to music while writing. Consider joining a writing group.
If you use a laptop to write, pick a pen and write your work, or some other’s work you know of, like copywriting again and again. It might help you gain momentum in writing and ebb and flow of imagination.
Make a daily routine and use these methods of writing for a few hours, and limit your time of writing instead of writing continuously.
- Read, Read and Read – From short stories and interviews to editions, read everything on your bucket list. Explore new trends in writing by reading the latest articles, research papers, books, newspapers, whatever works for you.
If you are into diary writing, read all your past entries from day one, start at a random date, and keep reading whatever you come across. If you are an experienced writer, re-read your past work, it might help you gain confidence, and you might be able to find a new insight into your work. Read online stories and support other writers by giving your reviews.
- Unique Approaches – Every person is different and unique. Some ways might not work for you, no matter how long you stick to them. So, try some unique methods that might’ve worked for you since childhood. Try to overcome your fears, if you have any.
Once you recognize any individual habits that help you relax, face your struggles, or crush them, note them down or remember them. And next time you have Writer’s block, try those methods.
At some point in their life, people who had faced this annoying problem started writing a diary. Check out the reasons why people start writing diary.