Writer’s block can become a roadblock for authors irrespective of the stage in their career. The professional ones who’ve faced this several times just know how to deal with it better. But if you have just started writing you may not know what is happening or why. There’s no way you can completely avoid it and it’s only a matter of time before you start staring at one. Before you hit the panic button, here are a few points that you might help you.
What is writer’s block?
Simply put, writer’s block is the lack of ability or desire to generate new material. You might be working on a novel, a short article, a series of blog posts or a poem…and your mind goes blank. No matter what you do, nothing seems to move. You get anxious and try harder to churn out some creative content. And the brain refuses to cooperate.
What causes writer’s block?
– Your inspiration tank might be running low. You may have been working for too long on the same topic and the feeling of déjà vu looms large.
– The pressure to live up to the expectations of the world (fans, publishers, editors, critics) might mean that you set the bar too high for yourself.
– It could also be about capability. If you have taken up a project that is not within your sphere of expertise, you may have no idea how to start it.
– Distraction can often be the culprit, if you have got your fingers in too many activities.
– Or you are just overworked. Taken on more work than you can manage?
How can you deal with writer’s block?
– If you know what the reason is, the solution becomes easier to find.
– If the root cause got something to do with ability or knowledge, see if you can first spend some time learning about the topic. Just go on the internet and read as much as you can. Forget about your project for a while.
– If you’ve set the bar too high, go easy on yourself. You don’t have to create a masterpiece in the first sitting. Generate some basic content and re-visit it again to see what you can improve when you review it.
– If it’s distraction, rather than trying to sort it out in your head, list down all that you have been doing on a piece of paper. You’ll get more clarity that way. Then prioritise the list – the most important activities on top.
– For the overloaded souls, the best way is to take a break from what you are doing. Come back after a while and start with a few easier tasks first. The smaller successes can prod you on to move on to the bigger tasks.
– Inspirational issues are tougher to fix. Watch a funny, emotional, movie. Go for a jog. Hit the gym and exercise a little. Or like the earlier point, just take a break.
More often than not, writer’s block is a temporary phase with no serious side effects. So if you cannot churn out 100 words a minute, that’s fine.
Photo by Adam Lyon