Beat the Block: Writer’s Block and How to Overcome It

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Female writer resting at her workplace with hands behind her head

For writers, there’s nothing as frustrating as getting writer’s block. Even when you’ve started out strong with your literary piece (a novel, song, essay, or poem), there’s always that moment where the creative process grinds to a halt. Numerous popular figures in the literary world such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leo Tolstoy, and JK Rowling have been afflicted with such conditions, so you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself when you experience it — it’s a struggle every writer goes through.

Common Causes

Before we get into ways you can overcome writer’s block, it’s just as important to know the factors that cause it. Many writers cite having high standards and expecting too much (or simply perfectionism) as among the most common hurdles in writing that result in a writer’s block. Others have noted that it’s simply all about timing — that today simply just isn’t the day to write. While others put emphasis on fear being the likely reason for a writer’s block — fear of their work getting rejected and ridiculed, fear that their work would offend people, and the fear of simply being read (somewhat like stage freight, but for writers). Some even overthink way ahead about not finding a publisher who’s willing to take a chance on their work — luckily, there are self-publishing companies that can easily remedy that.

It would be ideal if you could identify and overcome these causes on your own, but if not, here are a few tips and tricks you might want to try out:

Don’t Just Take A Break, Do Something Creative

 man writing near a windowWhile sleeping it off, or shutting your brain down by watching TV works for some, it’s not an ideal way to deal with the block. Instead, do something else creative, something that might jumpstart your creative juices and allow you to get back on track. Try sketching or painting, or writing something else apart from what you’re working on (maybe a poem, song, or a letter to someone), do some woodwork, sculpt. Just do something creative and finish it. Not only would it help you activate your creativity, but it can allow you to de-stress.

Move

If you don’t feel like doing something creative, try taking a walk, or perhaps go to the gym. Go dance, do yoga, or jog. Physical activities can help relax your mind afterward, allowing for your imagination to run better for writing. If it works, try making it a habit to do whichever physical activity you prefer in between chapters and pages of whatever you’re working on. You may even want to consider cleaning your entire room — worst-case scenario, it doesn’t work, but you’d have a tidy room.

Know Your Creative Period

Many writers may say that you should write right after you wake up in the morning, and while it does work for some, it may not work for all. Instead, try to take note of when your creative drive is at its peak. You may be someone who writes throughout the day, but you should be able to notice certain times of the day when you seem to write a lot better. If you’re a night person, chances are, you’re more creative during the night as well.

Conclusion

Writer’s block is indeed frustrating and hard, but hopefully, these tips can help you conquer it and allow you to get back to writing. Once you’re over that hurdle and finally finish your work, look for self-publishing companies that can take care of all the tedious book publishing details for you.

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