How to Overcome Writer’s Block – 7 Issues to Solve
Last Updated on September 20, 2021 by Mileva Stankovic
If you want to know how to overcome writer’s block, you’ve come to the right place! Today we’ll talk about getting out of the blank paper phase and moving onto writing thousands of words with ease. Yes, it’s possible, and it’s easier than you think. All you have to do is find out what’s bothering you.
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What is writer’s block?
Writer’s block is defined as a condition associated with writing where an author is unable to produce new work. The creative slowdown also falls under the writer’s block. Contrary to some beliefs, writer’s block is not caused by commitment problems or the lack of writing skills. It’s not measured by the time that passes while one can’t write. Instead, it’s measured by time combined with the lack of productivity.
What causes writer’s block?
There’s a time in every writer’s life when he stares at a blank Word document, trying to start a sentence. To some, it may happen more often than others, but everyone fears it.
The writer’s block.
There are several reasons why authors experience it. Today you’ll learn more about what’s causing it and how to overcome writer’s block.
1. The feeling of burnout
Getting tired is in human nature. This is how your body works, be it training or writing. Unfortunately, getting tired while writing and pushing your mind to develop fictional characters and plots is a normal occurrence.
You need to alternate between periods of rest and activity that causes you to feel mentally tired. Don’t beat yourself over not finishing a chapter. Your book will be there tomorrow, and you’ll have a refreshed mind to helo you continue writing it.
2. Medical conditions
Do you suffer from insomnia?
Certain medical conditions may cause your brain to get blurry and preventing you from writing. Diabetes and thyroid problems can also cause brain fog. If your alcohol intake is high, it can also cause problems with focus and result in writer’s block. Even though you might want to sip your favorite wine while writing, consider the long-term consequences and take an occasional break from sipping wine.
You’re most likely writing in some form of home office and chances are you’ll have many distractions around you.
Is your desk cluttered?
Do your family members barge in your room?
Sometimes finding a quiet place to write is not as easy as you think. Keep in mind that distractions can kill your creativity completely, but luckily there are ways to remove them.
The simplest trick in the book is to use noise-cancelling headphones. These can help you keep you motivation to write while silencing the world around you. At the same time, these clearly say “I’m deep into my work, leave me alone.”
Many writers are perfectionists.
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting your writing to be perfect, know that you’re only adding up pressure before you even begin. Self-criticism is a good motivator to be better, but if you overdo it, you’ll never start.
While we’re at perfectionism – final edits are perfect, right?
We guarantee you’ll find at least one error in any manuscript, regardless of it being grammatical or plot-related.
5. Fear of others reading what you wrote
This is another common fear among authors. After all, you’re revealing a part of your soul with your writings, and it’s normal to feel some dose of fear, especially if you plan to pitch your novel to an agent.
If you write for yourself, the solution is simple – keep it inside your drawer. Don’t show your work to anyone, and you’ll stay in the safe zone.
However, if you want to be seen and known as an author, then you must overcome this unease. Start small and show your manuscript to someone you trust before moving on to family members, editors, or agents. By the time you reach the audience, many people will see your work and you’ll get used to it.
6. Too many or too few ideas
Having too many ideas is overwhelming on its own. You might want to start a poetry anthology, but then you shift to short stories, only to realize that deep down, you want to start a novel. This can easily lead you towards writing nothing at all. On the other side, too few ideas call for more brainstorming, which can make you feel like you’re losing precious time.
7. Problems in personal life
While many authors take their issues and solve them through writing their book, some don’t want to deal with them. What they want is to escape in their writing, but the problems persist and make them unproductive. Stress can also cause writer’s block.
If you’re constantly exposed to high levels of stress, chances are you’ll have trouble writing anything down.
This is why it’s essential to find something to help you calm down. Meditation and exercise are good for starters. Still, if you keep feeling depressed, look for professional help.
How long does writer’s block last?
Some authors experience writer’s block that lasts for an hour, others suffer for days on end. There’s no specified period that can be used to define how long a writer’s block can last. It’s about how you feel concerning the inability to produce written content.
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Is it normal to have writer’s block?
Writer’s block can happen to anyone at any time. Even if it’s caused by an illness, writer’s block is a normal thing to experience. Luckily, it doesn’t have to last long if you’re ready to apply the methods below to beat it.
How to overcome writer’s block?
If you’re wondering “How do I unblock writer’s block?”, we’ll list the solutions for the issues above, starting with a simple meditation to set the mood.
Open up a flower in your mind
First thing’s first, start by looking for your garden of ideas. Imagine you’re in a garden and you’re approaching a flower. You can have as many flowers as you’d like. But this one will inspire you the most.
Let it open up and soak in all its beauty. Let that beauty guide you towards finding the words you need to start. This is just one of the methods how to overcome writer’s block.
Burnout is defined as a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally draining situations. If you’re experiencing dread, low energy, the feeling of emptiness, or thinking of quitting, chances are you’re close to being burnt out.
One of the methods how to remove writer’s block is to remove the feeling of tiredness.
Consider the purpose of what you want to write. If you’re creating it for yourself, then you can give yourself time to do so.
Another thing to do when it comes to burnout is to work on the things that make you tired. Take the time for yourself and organize your thoughts. Find what’s the cause of feeling like that and address it first, before moving on to your writing ideas.
Fix your medical conditions
In today’s day and age, it’s fairly easy to solve many medical conditions. If you’re experiencing writer’s block and it also comes with continuous brain fog and focus problems, talk with your doctor and do the necessary analyses. Sometimes a simple thing like the inability to focus may point to more severe issues.
If your family doesn’t let you write, and they’re causing your writer’s block, tell them that you’ll isolate yourself by all means. State it, loud and clear, to everyone in your household, and ask them to not bother you for a certain timeframe.
If your desk is the cause of your distractions, take the time to work on it. Read more about tidying up, and learn the methods to remove clutter. Some include starting from bigger surfaces, others from the things that mean the most.
Social media can also be a huge distraction, and reasonably so. Luckily, there are apps to download that can block your access to a website while you’re working on your manuscript.
Even though it may seem hard to comprehend – nobody’s perfect! The computer you’re writing on isn’t ideal, and the software you’re using has bugs. There’s not a single perfect thing in the whole world. Don’t beat yourself over your ideas or how you write dialogs. There’s no such thing as a perfect book and there never will be.
Want to know how to overcome writer’s block and the fear of not being perfect?
Just let yourself go.
Ignore the fear
If you’re creating it for others, know that there will always be people who will dislike what you wrote. Spend time making it good for you, and if you really must – worry about what people close to you will feel like when they read your stuff. Dealing with bad book reviews will come later, no one has escaped that.
Write down your ideas
A big part of how you’ll overcome writer’s block is how well you’re write down your ideas before you begin working on them. Regardless of having too many or too few, write them down first, and take a few days off. When you get back to the list and consider them again, you’ll easily find those worth keeping.
If you have no ideas at all but you’d love to start writing and you feel it in you, get back to reading. Expand your reading genre and dive into other people’s ideas.
This is where journaling comes to help. Pick multiple journals, and dedicate each to one idea, or use one to write down everything. The choice is yours.
If you’re struggling with organizing your ideas, consider purchasing a planner. Planners are ideal solution for those months when you’re working on multiple writing projects. You can use them to handle character development, plan your writing sessions, or do what any other writer does with a gorgeous notebook – store them away to never use them.
Tend to personal issues
Before you start creating, you need to remove all obstacles. If you have a general idea about how you want to start, but you can’t, write that idea down with nothing specific. Then go back to sorting out personal problems. That’s how you won’t forget how you wanted your book or chapter to start, plus you’ll be free to revise the idea later.
Overcoming writer’s block takes some work, but if you’re ready to devote your time to solving it, you’ll be free. If you doubt you’re experiencing more than one reason for writer’s block, write those down! It’s not easy thinking about how to overcome writer’s block while you have the reasons for it, and the ideas to write about, all cluttered in your mind.
Know that you’ll find many solutions in your quest to learn how to overcome writer’s block. Pick the one that fits you the most.