We have all been there. In that period when it seems words and phrases you want to write, just do not come to you, no matter how hard you try. You know what you want to say but, you just do not know how to say it. This frustrating, anxiety-causing phenomenon is called writer’s block. And it is not uncommon.
When writing books, we are often pushed to produce pages of the written word on demand. You have to finish the book, your publishing house says. ‘We need that chapter by Friday’ rings in your ears, causing you stress and panic. Other times, it may not be the pressure that is causing your mind to blank on you but just the lack of creativity and motivation to write.
Let us look at what are some of the common causes of writer’s block and how you can overcome it:
Why does Writers Block Happen?
The American Psychological Association (APA) does not think the term, writer’s block exists. They term the issue as more of a time and discipline problem. Psychologist Steven Pritzker told the APA that it’s “An artificial construct that justifies a discipline problem.”
Whatever it is, it does happen and below are some of the reasons why:
Lack of Creativity
Sometimes it might just be your lack of creativity even though you are motivated to write. Your motivation might come from your book publisher breathing down your neck or your own will to finish your book. But you just can’t create words that don’t appeal to you, no matter how much pressure you are under.
Lack of Motivation
You lack the willpower to sit down and write a page. Even a single page seems too much for you, and you are not motivated to do it. In these cases, it may simply be burnout, and you need to take time to recharge your brain and mind. Other times you may need a push from an external party to make you finish your book.
Writers sometimes feel they may not be good enough. Who will want to read this, echoes in your ears from time to time? Imposter Syndrome is a very real thing, and something that does not just affect people who are writing books, but other professionals as well.
Unclear About Plot
As a writer, you may be on your way to writing your book and, all of a sudden decide that the plot progression is not what you expected. You may decide to change the ending, but you are not sure of what it should be. This is something that is not uncommon and a reason why many writers have alternate endings to books that they never share.
Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block
Now that we know what causes it let’s look at what we can do to work through it. These strategies may work at different times and can be used together or separately. At the end of the day, your goal should be to get back on track.
- If you feel that you are lacking creativity or motivation when writing books, why not change your surroundings? Sometimes sitting at the same desk, starting at the same window, just does not do it for you day in and day out. Why not get out of the office or home and go to a coffee shop or even a park? The change in scenery can sometimes make all the difference.
- Try working for solid periods. This is something that has gained popularity and is referred to as the Pomodoro Technique. You can sit for 25 minutes with no interruption at all. This means turning your phone off and all messaging apps on your computer. After 25 minutes, get up and take a break.
- Scheduling time to write is a great way to meet deadlines and something that bestseller authors use all the time. Put it on your calendar and stick to it.
- Reading before you write is a great way to inspire creativity and motivation. Even if you read a chapter or your favourite poem before you write, it keeps you on the path of writing well.
Tested Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block
Knowing what causes writer’s block and how to overcome it is a great way to start to be more productive. These tips will put you on the right track. And, as mentioned, if you believe that it doesn’t exist then half of your problem is already solved!
Here is to productivity and happy writing!
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