Writer’s block is something every author dreads. Every writer knows how it feels to sit staring at that keyboard or computer monitor with a completely blank stare.
The first time it happens can be quite unnerving and make you question how you ever thought you could be a writer at all.
There are a few steps that you can take to help get over that feeling that you have written all that you have to write and that there are no more ideas left.
It’s All In The Mind, Baby
The first thing you have to understand is that writer’s block is psychological. Several issues can cause it, but it won’t be changed by just giving up.
You have to find a way to get past it or find what is causing you to feel the loss of creativity.
Here are some common causes of most writer’s block:
- Fear of Rejection
- Wrong Writing Schedule
- Increased stress
- Deadline Pressures
- Overwhelming Details
You have to find a way to get past these things to get the creative juices flowing again.
Having to admit that we have a psychological block can often be intimidating itself but that is the first step in getting rid of writer’s block.
Fear of rejection
Fear of rejection is probably the number one reason that writer’s feel blocked. As you are writing out your ideas, you keep thinking that what you are writing isn’t good enough for others to read.
What if the readers are critical of your work and don’t like it?
If you put all of your time and effort into
Try to understand the other side of that coin.
What happens if readers love your work and want you to write even more?
How will you feel if you write a masterpiece?
If you worry about whether you will fail or not, you will continue being unable to write.
Try to overcome this feeling by jotting down a few self-affirmation quotes and keeping them on your desk or near your workspace.
Get a trusted friend to help you through these times because no one loves you like your friends. And they will be the first to tell you to “knock it off.”
Wrong Writing Schedule
Every writer has a time of day that is better for them to think clearly and write without hesitation.
Some writers can knock off a couple of pages at five in the morning while others need to work strictly at night.
The best way to determine this is to sit down for a week or two at different times of the day and see what happens.
If you find you write with less hesitation first thing in the morning then maybe you should set your alarm to get you up earlier each day and dedicate that time to your writing. You can always go to bed earlier in the night to help offset the times.
If you write better at night, then set a schedule for yourself before you go to bed that makes it easier for you to write.
Don’t write at a specific time just because someone you know does the same thing. Make your
For most normal people, the world is a distracting place.
Our phones are ringing.
The TV is blaring.
The kids are yelling.
The dog is barking
The sink has a drip.
There are many reasons you could lose focus on your writing.
How can you waste time writing when that sink obviously needs fixed?
The sink is just a way to excuse yourself from not writing today.
You need to find a quiet place with no distraction during a designated time and tell everyone to stay away and not to call you.
Schedule your time like it is a job that you can’t miss. You wouldn’t call into your day job when the sink drips would you?
Make sure there is minimal noise and also that the area is comfortable.
Increased Stress in your non-writing life, can, in turn, find a way to haunt you in your writing life.
Financial stress, health issues, and relationship issues are just a few of the things that can take your mind away from writing.
These things can be hard to take your focus away from and that will reflect in your being unable to fully focus on your writing.
The only way to get past these stressors are to deal with them head-on.
When they no longer consume you, you will find that your creativity will return and you can again focus on writing.
There are two types of deadlines. The deadlines you place on yourself and also deadlines your publisher puts on you.
As you get closer to the deadlines, you may often find yourself staring at the clock and also the keyboard trying to will yourself to write faster.
Due to this, it becomes harder to concentrate on your writing.
To avoid this pitfall, you should make a schedule that allows plenty of time to get the writing done. Don’t focus so much on the results, but focus on how to get a piece of the puzzle completed that will allow you to finish promptly.
For example, make a daily work count or page count. Write at least the minimum amount but do continue if you are inspired.
Don’t let the minimum writing goal be overwhelming. Don’t expect to finish a full book in a week. Instead, make your goal to finish two pages of writing a day. That is only 500 words to start.
Sometimes, you can get so many details all going on at the same time, that you lose track of where you are going and how you plan to get there.
Make it simple and keep track of your characters so that you always know what comes next. Build a good outline and change it as you need to in order to keep the work flowing evenly.
Don’t get sidetracked and veer off into space because eventually this will paralyze you and you won’t know which way to turn.
You will get writer’s block when you have no idea how to fix the original trail of events and bring your story back to the original plot because you gave it too much detail and too many subplots.
Writing can be a stain on your mind. No one can work nonstop for hours on end without rest.
Mental fatigue is many times worse than physical fatigue. While it may seem ideal to work at a feverish pace and keep writing into the wee hours of the morning day after day, this will only cause issues down the road.
Make sure you are taking care of you. Take a break from writing and stretch.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep.
Watch some TV with your family.
Have dinner with friends.
Read a book.
Most of all, learn to do absolutely nothing once in a while.
Writer’s Block Won’t Last Forever
If you take care of all of the previous issues, your writer’s block won’t last. You will see a return of your productivity and creativity.
Sometimes, the mind will tell you when you need to slow down and refocus.
The most simple way to refocus is to move away from your project and then work on something else.
Try this simple exercise the next time you have writer’s block. Take your scheduled writing time and type all the thoughts that are going on inside your head.
It doesn’t need structure. Don’t think about what you are going to write. Just start writing all of your thoughts down until you can’t write anymore.
Read this out loud to yourself and focus on what is bothering you and preventing you from writing. Then take care of the issues that you uncover by doing this exercise.
Now you should be well on your way to getting rid of the writer’s block that is holding you back.