Writer’s block is the mental state in which a writer is unable to find the motivation to write or they cannot find new ideas to write about. Either way, it results in a lack of writing. This is really bad for professional writers as it means they cannot work effectively.
Writer’s block never comes with a warning and it can arrive at any time. It could arrive before you start a new work, or during it. Whenever it does happen, it grinds the writing work to a halt. So, why does writer’s block happen?
What are some Causes of Writer’s block?
Writer’s block can occur due to several reasons. And there is never one reason why it occurs. Meaning that a writer afflicted with writer’s block may have multiple reasons for it.
Some of the most common reasons for writer’s block are:
If a writer is feeling stressed due to worries in their life, it can manifest as writer’s block. These stresses could be from things in their personal life, or they could be from their work. Common stressors for writers in their work environment include tight deadlines, unrealistic expectations, and poor working conditions.
Whenever the stress becomes too much, the writer’s mind may become dull in an effort to stop thinking about the things worrying him which also causes writer’s block.
Burnout can be considered another reason; however, it is actually a product of stress as well. It is a state of exhaustion. This exhaustion can be physical, mental, emotional, or any combination of the three (including all three).
During this state of exhaustion, a writer’s mind does not work as well as it usually does. This results in a distinct lack of ideas which as we know is what happens with writer’s block.
Burnout is caused by prolonged exposure to stress and poor environments.
Some people are obsessed with being perfect. They pay a lot of attention to detail. In the case of writers, this detail is found in the words being used, the sentence structure, and even paragraph length.
A perfectionist writer may get hung up on perfecting their writing rather than completing their work. This may result in constantly writing and rewriting phrases to make them perfect. Writer’s block in this situation refers to never being satisfied and never moving on from the part that the writer is stuck on.
How to Deal with Writers Block?
There are a lot of ways to deal with writer’s block, but we will not discuss all of them, instead, we will check out the most important ones. But do note, that what work for someone may not work for everyone, so if you are dealing with writer’s block try out multiple methods to deal with it.
Dealing with writer’s block basically has two steps; you try to figure out what is causing the block, and then you try to take action to remove that thing. So, here are a bunch of tips that deal with one or more causes of writer’s block.
If your block is the kind where you don’t have motivation, then practicing discipline may help you out. Simply put, you need to set aside some time dedicated to writing. In this time you have to write, it doesn’t matter what you write, it could be anything. According to the essay writing guide by Jordan Peterson, writer’s block is caused by a lack of discipline and incorrect approaches to writing. So, you should practice it a lot.
You could write a diary, a short story, or just a description of the environment around you. The habit of writing will help move the gears in your mind, and you will be able to move past your block.
Write in small bursts
Sometimes, a block is caused by the irrational fear of the size of a task at hand. If the workload is immense, it can provoke a block and the writer basically avoids starting work on the project.
To deal with this, learn to work in short bursts. You can set an achievable limit for yourself and try to reach that limit every day. For example, if you have a 50,000-word e-book to write, you can start by writing 500 words every day. The small burst will add up and suddenly you will notice that the work does not seem to be that monumental, or scary.
Do not get Stuck on perfectionism
Well, the thing about perfectionism getting in your way is that you have to learn to let go. Allow yourself to write imperfectly. You have to realize, that work that is done is better than incomplete, no matter how bad it is.
You can also just edit the imperfections later instead of doing them right there and then. If you find that you really cannot let go, then try to rephrase the content with the help of a rephraser. The tool may actually provide a suitable alternative that may satisfy you. Plus, the rephrasing will be faster too.
Get a change in scenery
Changing your work environment can help prod your brain into moving past the block. A new environment will help you to think differently and get new ideas. So you can start working.
You should know that a paraphrasing tool is also good for sparking creativity. Seeing your own words written in a different way can help you think about a different perspective and give you new ideas. So, if changing your environment is not possible then use rephrasing tools.
A valid reason for writer’s block is simply that the writer has run out of ideas. In this case, they need to get more ideas. One of the best ways to do that is to read literature. Reading literature is really good for sparking creativity and it helps you to gain knowledge as well. You can read our blog post on how literature improves your writing skills and deals with writer’s block for more information.
You can try the rephrase trick in combination with this technique too. That will allow you to see what you have read from a different perspective. And that can inspire all kinds of new ideas.
Get suggestions from people around you
Sometimes, a writer is just unsure of themselves and are not confident that they wrote well. To deal with this, they can try and consult their peers. A writer can join a group where people practice and share their writings to get feedback. They can use this group to get some constructive criticism and even find new ideas and motivations.
This can help them to move past their writer’s block and start working again.
Overall, writer’s block is a weird mental condition that can afflict someone due to a variety of reasons. It would be more accurate to think of it as a symptom of some other underlying reason. We have discussed how pressure, stress, and anxiety can show up as writer’s block. Other times it is due to a lack of motivation.
We saw that writer’s block can be dealt with in a number of ways. Each approach had one thing in common and that was dealing with the underlying cause of writer’s block. Hopefully, after reading this guide, you are better informed on how to deal with your own block.