We all experience it.
The itching pain of not being able to put our prose together.
Our brain becomes muddled with thoughts. Mind goes numb. Fingers hover over the same spot on the keyword. We keep rewriting the same concept without ever getting satisfaction.
Suddenly writing becomes a pain, a burden, a source of frustration, something you want to escape from. So you declare having reached writer’s block and stop writing altogether.
Hitting writer’s dead-end is a real pain, but have you ever wondered why it happened?
Here are the top four causes for writer’s block:
Exhaustion is a true blockage to your creative flow. It obscures thinking and diminishes concentration, making it increasingly hard to put your words together.
Maybe you want to reach that goal of writing 1000 words per day, but trying to squeezing words out of your energy-deprived brain is fruitless. You only end up with frustration and even more exhaustion.
Instead of forcing yourself to create, why not put your feet up for a while and come back when you’re ready to write?
Take a stroll along the beach or in the wood. Sing a song out loud. Go for a bath. Do something not mentally demanding to recharge your mental battery.
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t hit the word count today. Sure, you may feel a bit guilty, but tomorrow the sun still rises, you still have time to come up with something great to write about.
Do you find yourself writing one sentence over and over again without ever feeling contented?
Our “perfectionist” brain loves to critique its own work. It enjoys finding mistakes and making corrections to ensure our writing is flawless.
Therefore involving it too early can disrupt your subconscious brain’s creative flow and result in the writer’s block.
Writing is like talking to a person. The only difference is that writing happens all in your mind.
What do you feel if someone keeps interrupting while you’re speaking? Annoyed and frustrated? Not remembering what to say next?
The same goes for writing. When the self-critic gets in the way, you can’t express your ideas in full and lose the thread halfway through.
That said, how to stop yourself tampering with one sentence?
Simply move on to the next sentence. Keep writing without looking back on what you’ve just written.
If anything springs up in your mind, let it out. Don’t evaluate if it’s good enough. This will turn off the self-critic and allow your subconscious mind to hold the reins as you write.
One trick to stop yourself to “fixing” along the way is to turn the text to white so what you don’t see what you’ve written.
3. Don’t know what to write
If you’re stuck for ideas, chances are you don’t have a clear purpose for what you write.
Your brain is a mingled with thoughts.
When you’re reached the writer’s dead end, take a step back and ask yourself: “What is one idea I want my readers to get away with?”
Starting with a specific goal in mind makes it easier for you to bounce off ideas and come up with relevant examples to back up your points.
There’s no such thing as writer’s block. It’s merely your excuse for not wanting to write.
When you get overwhelmed with the amount of work to produce a piece of writing [research, brainstorm ideas, create the first draft, edit], it’s much easier to label yourself as having a writer’s block and put it off.
You’ll want to just sit back and keep searching for “inspiration” instead of doing real labor.
As a result, a piece of writing may take weeks or even months to accomplish.
One way to push through the writer’s block is to stop saying you’re having writer’s block and start writing.
If you find the writing task too demanding, set your alarm clock to write for 25 minutes. Knowing that you only have to write for 25 minutes, you’re more likely to stop the excuses and start doing some real work.
Don’t try to complete a blog post in one day. Instead, set a certain amount of time each day to research, write and edit your post until it gets done.
Writer’s block is [a real pain to writers], but you don’t have to admit defeat when you don’t know what to write.
You only need to identify the core problems and have a few tricks up your sleeve to “welcome” the block when it knocks on your door.