Hello! Welcome to Palacedaughter.
…you have been in this chapter for hours and this seems to be the tenth time you’re tearing off the pages because it doesn’t look like it. You’re stuck and you don’t even know what to do; no matter how hard you try, you just feel blank!
I know right. I experience this too and it’s normal for a writer, trust me. It has nothing to do with your ability to write and it does not define or describe your competence as a writer.
Would you believe if I told you that writing this post is as a result of me having writer’s block? I literally sat on my chair surfing and searching for what to write but I couldn’t because I was blank. I told myself, “…girl, you’re experiencing writer’s block,” and that was when I had the inspiration- ironical right- the idea to write about it knowing that a lot of other writers too have one way or the other at one point been through or are going through it and may not know how to overcome it.
What then is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block is a condition that occurs sometimes in the process of writing. During this time, a writer is unable to come up with creative ideas and it may even last for a long period of time for instance, a year if not curbed.
Causes of Writer’s Block.
Writer’s Block can be caused by a lot of factors; both internal and external.
Below are my 3 most common causes.
- Fear: fear of the unknown- “What if my idea is not good enough?” The fear of being judged or rejected by the audience and publishers can make a writer experience writer’s block. When you self criticise your work, you indirectly create the space for writer’s block to set in.
- Perfectionism: when a writer is a perfectionist and doesn’t think he has got everything right and ready to begin for instance, he is likely to experience writer’s block because he will keep waiting for the perfect word, perfect sentence, perfect time, et cetera.
- Distractions: have you been at the point where you are being inspired to write about a topic and while you pen down the ideas as they flow to your hand from your inside, you suddenly hear a loud noise?
I bet you are likely to be disconnected and may find it difficult to reconnect.
It is important to know that distractions vary from writer to writer; that is, what distracts you as a writer may not necessarily be what distracts the other person as a writer.
Having looked at some of the causes of writer’s block, let’s take a look at how we can overcome it.
Overcoming Writer’s Block
- Free writing: when you employ the technique of free writing, you need not worry about criticisms. When you allow the thoughts to flow naturally as they come without the fear of being censured, you are less likely to experience writer’s block.
- Take a break: taking a break can help you overcome writer’s block. Personally,I do this a lot. When you take a break, your mind becomes refreshed and reenergized.
Though, this works variantly for writers; taking a break could be taking a nap, exercising, listening to music, playing a video game or watching a movie or you could even snack a bit, et cetera.
- Do not disturb mode: just like the way we turn off and on the “do not disturb mode” on our phones, we can also turn on and off our “do not disturb” mode as a writer.
You can get or create a “do not disturb” sign for your door for instance, and you can inform the people around you about your writing or work schedule.
If staying at home doesn’t work for you then you can go to the library or some other quiet place.
These and more are ways by which a writer can overcome writer’s block.
Figure out what works best for you and be determined to use to your advantage.
You could even be flexible in your approach as well as combine two or more depending on you.
No matter what, don’t quit. Keep writing. “Writer’s block is a condition that exists only in your head.”- Jeff Goins.
It doesn’t define your competence as a writer neither does it determine the success of your writing.
I hope you have some tips to take away, please feel free to share your writer’s block experience and how you overcame it, thanks.
Saka Halimat Shadiat