The mere thought of writerâ€™s block for most authors sends shivers down spines. However, itâ€™s important to know the difference between actual block and just a bad day or two. Being unable to form a cohesive sentence, the absolute belief that everything you write is rubbish, eye-strain and deleting hours of work in a single action are all symptoms of Writer’s Block.
If you are in the middle of a â€˜slumpâ€™ in your writing, take some time to ask yourself these questions to determine whether it is actually writerâ€™s block:
- Are you panicking?
- Have you forced yourself to become a writer only to be continuously frustrated over the quality of the work you produce?
- Has it been longer than five minutes since you wrote your last cohesive sentence?
- Are you struggling to even write an email?
- Do you feel like giving up and throwing it all away?
- Have you talked yourself into the fact that doing any other job will be more rewarding than writing?
If you’ve answered no to any of those questions, you probably don’t have writer’s block. However if youâ€™ve answered yes to every one of them then youâ€™ll no doubt be desperate for a way out of your hole. Â Itâ€™s important to remember that no matter how low you are feeling at this minute, it is only a temporary condition and easily mended!
The main cause of the block is self doubt and the cause of this self doubt could be anything at all – not necessarily even writing related as stress and tiredness are common causes. Â If you are stressed and doubting your skills, you will be pleased to know that there is a way out of the cycle. Writerâ€™s block is almost always temporary and all you need to know is how to get your creative juices flowing again.
There are a many different ways to beat writerâ€™s block, some of which are very simple and include:
- Â Escape with a film – watch your favourite move as this could stimulate and inspire you
- Take a nap
- Talk to your doctor if you are feeling symptoms of depression along with your lack of creativity.
- Go for a run, take a walk or work out at the gym – physical exercise is proven to reduce stress levels.
- Indulge in a relaxing bath or shower and let your subconscious take over for a while.
- If you have children, play with them and find inspiration through fun.
- Treat yourself to your favourite sweet snack, whether it be ice cream or chocolate.
- Take a break – a few hours or a few days – whatever you need.
- Work on something completely different.
- Use a different medium to express yourself – if you usually type on the computer, switch to pen and paper for a while.
If you try most or all of these and still have no luck, it is a good idea to try and lighten up make yourself laugh. Â Give your characters completely inappropriate and unrealistic storylines and literally turn your project inside out! You may be surprised just how much this helps. You will see that your next sentence isnâ€™t so impossible and you might stop taking yourself and your situation so seriously – and being too serious definitely doesnâ€™t help creativity!
Every negative emotion you are experiencing will affect your writing just as they affect all other areas of your life. Take a step back, assess what the actual problem is and try to deal with that before solving your writerâ€™s block. Once you do that, you may sit down and find that youâ€™re ready to write again.
Best of luck and hope this helps.