5 Effective Ways to Combat Writer’s Block
If you own a blog or write fiction and nonfiction frequently then it is highly likely that you have been in writer’s block.
It is a state where you are unable to proceed with writing or even start it. It is a writer’s nightmare. Though there are ways to combat it.
This article discusses the common causes of writer’s block and how you can combat it. Keep reading to know more.
Reasons for Writer’s Block
In order to find out the solution to writer’s block, we first need to know what causes it.
You may feel that you have brain fog and are generally unable to think and process your thoughts into words better.
However, you need to tap into what exactly is causing it.
It is commonly known as the inhibition that stops a writer from continuing a piece and is psychological in nature.
However, it differs from writer to writer.
It happens when writers find it difficult to start a project and stick with it to complete it.
Most writers are unable to start a project, piece, blog that they are working on.
However, when you are going through a block then it is immensely tough to even come up with new content ideas.
You may not be able to find ideas either because of a lack of inspiration or mostly because writing requires cognitive effort.
All in all, it poses a real challenge for writers who need to constantly bring new and fresh content to their blogs. socials and other platforms.
So what are the likely causes behind it? Read them below.
What’s Causing Your Writer’s Block?
- Being Fearful
Nothing has crushed dreams more than fear.
Most writers find it hard to put their ideas out there because of the fear of failing or being laughed at.
Or you worry too much about criticism about it not being good enough and not giving you desired results.
As a result, you fear expressing yourself fully in the public. This creates emotional resistance.
And emotional resistance begets creative resistance.
There will come a point that you find yourself unable to express your creativity at all.
Fear is a commonly shared sentiment amongst all humans.
However, it is one of the biggest reasons why you are unable to process your thoughts into words.
And remember that you will inevitably fail if you don’t try because of fear.
- Excessive Self-criticism
Constructive criticism is always good however, excess of everything is wrong.
You should not lather yourself with praise and overconfidence but you should also not consider yourself incapable of doing anything.
Unfortunately, writers tend to compare their creative work to their previous work or to other writers.
Comparison will likely get you to never write a single word.
When you are in a state of the block then comparing your work to others will only stop you from proceeding.
You will create extremely high expectations from yourself which will hinder you from liking your work and being stuck in a cycle of criticism.
Which brings us to…
- Being Perfect
Well, the truth is that nobody’s perfect but people do strive to become near perfect.
However, it is more of a shield and self-fulfilling prophecy against failure and criticism.
Yes, you may want to be great at what you write but as it goes your first draft is only for yourself.
Only revision and learning will make your writing better.
Fearing that it’s not good enough even before starting it will never make you reach your final draft.
In fact, you will never start writing even the first sentence.
- Having More or Less Ideas
If your thought process doesn’t align then you may have difficulty choosing the best ideas for yourself.
Either you have no ideas or too many ideas that you do not where to begin from.
Actually, both of these is fear in disguise.
Indecision stems from the fear that you will choose the wrong topic and it will not end up being good.
You fear failure which leads to indecision.
- Feeling Pressurized
You may undergo a block if you feel pressured.
Not only are you unable to start work under external pressure but you also don’t work well.
Hence, if you have a deadline or assignment but you do not wish to write, then it is possible that you cannot bring yourself to write.
Now that we know what are the reasons behind writer’s block, let’s find out the ways to combat it.
Ways to Combat Writer’s Block
Once you know the reason behind your inability to write, you can work on how to combat it.
Procrastination is not a solution but sometimes getting a walk or much-needed sleep might help.
You can also begin by setting a routine so that you streamline your tasks and limit distraction.
1. Limit Distraction and Set a Routine
When you can’t get yourself to write, you also lack focus.
Your background, setting, social disturbances (email, messages) and noise can make work difficult.
If you cannot focus then you will just move around in a loop.
Hence, you need to cut off all disturbances. Switch off your phone or at least wifi, and choose a secluded place for yourself to write.
One way to write in a flow is to also push yourself to write according to your schedule.
Set a schedule that you will write a blog post daily or every other day.
If you do that then you will at least submit and complete work rather than simply waiting on it.
Creativity also needs scheduling. You need to commit to your work and that will come by setting a schedule.
Once you set your secluded corner and abide by your work schedule, you will feel the focus coming through.
And that is exactly what you need to get started.
2. Write Freely Because Progress is More Important Than Perfection
In order to end your writer’s block, you need to well…write.
Though if your mind has no ideas or too many ideas then you can try a simple exercise to bring out all of that confusion on paper.
Constantly write for 5 minutes whatever comes into your mind.
Let your imagination flow and dump all of your ideas on a laptop, mobile phone or using pen and paper
You do not need to stop writing to edit or read it. Just write for 5 to 10 minutes.
Take your time to bring all of it out and then read it carefully.
Maybe you can find two or three amazing ideas or new finds in your work.
Also, once you let it flow, you can always edit it and rewrite it with a few tweaks here and there.
However, if you do not start writing, then there will be no progress and no perfection.
You should focus on progress and getting out of your state of inability to write by putting something down on paper.
Keep reminding yourself that it is just the first draft and does not have to be perfect.
Once you write it down, you can form a structure and always make edits.
3. Choose What’s Trending
If you find yourself without any content idea or topic then go for what’s trending.
Have a look at websites such as AllTop and social media platforms like Twitter to get an idea of what are people talking about.
One advantage of writing trending topics on your blog is that many people are searching for them at that time hence, you can appear in Google SERP and rank well.
If you use the right Search Engine Optimization techniques then you can also rank well.
You can also draw inspiration for ideas from Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit and Quora.
Look for the trending and widely searched topics related to your niche.
Select a relevant and popular topic and write a good post on it.
Also, look for what’s ranking and popularly searched on Google.
This will help you churn out an article when you are completely out of ideas and it will begin your workflow.
All you will have to do next is to maintain your workflow and not stop it.
4. Exercise or Take a Walk
Procrastination is not a writer’s block cure.
However, if you have to overcome writer’s block you need to set your mind to something else for a while.
Exercise, walking, hiking and seeing nature let you breathe and your mind think.
All this not only helps to improve your physical ability but also improves your focus and de-stresses you resulting in better productivity as well as improvement in memory.
Exercise can also lead to the growth of cells in the hippocampus.
This part of the brain allows imagination.
Though there needs to be more studies on the effect of exercise over creativity, in general, it does freshen you up, make you active and that encourages you to be more creative.
A little exposure to nature also helps to relax your mind and enables you to think proactively.
Therefore, if you remain stuck on a blank page, don’t think that will be wasting time by going for a run.
In fact, you will be saving yourself from the pressure of being unable to do work.
Take a break and see some nature while exerting your body.
Writers suffer when they are creatively blocked.
Hence, when you are feeling stuck to write the perfect writing project, take a break, set a timer and go out for a walk.
5. Do Some Other Writing Activity
If there is a certain writing activity that you can’t seem to do, then you should probably start another one.
Sometimes a writer struggles in getting their creative juices flowing.
Switching off your work for a while and doing something similar or completely different can either get the creative writing process flowing or improve your focus.
Suppose if you are writing a blog post but you also have an editing job to edit others’ articles.
Now if you are stuck on your blog post then take the much-needed break and start editing for a while.
This way you will come across others’ work which will inspire new ideas and motivation in you.
You can also do some other chores or activities before returning to writing.
This can help fill the space in your mind that feels completely blank.
Remember we discussed that pressure also contributes to your blankness.
Hence, if you take yourself out of that pressure then you can immerse yourself into other things and let your mind relax to think about new ideas thoroughly.
Don’t worry if you have writer’s block with an approaching deadline.
Follow these tips to get over it.
However, let your mind relax first so that you produce the best quality work even if it is not perfect but still great.