Writer’s block has been in existence for a long time, nearly all writer’s experience sitting in front of the blank paper not knowing where to start..
Sometimes you indeed sit for long hours hoping for words to come, but nothing came through.
You simply can’t get it out to write, even though you have many ideas running up your mind. It can take minutes, hours, days, or even weeks for some people to come back to terms.
Does Writer’s Block Really Exist?
Many people like Philip Meyer and Dr. Paul Silva believe writer’s block does not exist
“I don’t think writer’s block actually exists. It’s basically insecurity – it’s your own internal critic turned up to a higher level than it’s supposed to be at that moment, because when you’re starting a work- when the page is blank when the canvas is open, your critic has to be turned down to zero. So the point is actually to get stuff on paper, just to follow yourself to kind of flow. It’s only by writing that you’ll discover characters, ideas, things like this” — Philip Meyer.
Writer’s block is nothing more than the behavior of not writing. Saying that you can’t write because of writer’s block is merely saying that you can’t write because you aren’t writing. It’s trivial. Giving a fancy name to feeling frustrated with your writing makes your frustration seem more grave and complex than it is. The cure for writer’s block, if you can cure a specious affliction— is writing — Dr. Paul Silva
While others regard it as a condition you only get rid of by writing.
The truth is you can’t unblock until you write. So, don’t use this period as an excuse to escape from writing because it’s so easy to give up before you know you did.
And instead of throwing in the towel, let’s see how to get rid of this distraction for good.
What Is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block is the state in which a writer is unable to proceed with writing.
For example, you are working on a project, and suddenly you feel blank. You stared at your computer for hours, but nothing came through. It kept on for hours.
Why Does Writer’s Block Happen?
Perfectionism – You can’t overlook any error when writing, even at the first draft.
Fear– You worry so much about what people will say. And sometimes, it gets to the stage you feel your writing is not good enough.
While it’s normal to feel this way, it’s essential to move past it. So, keep writing and don’t stop.
“I used to be afraid about what people might say or think after reading what I had written. I am not afraid anymore because I am not trying to prove anything to anyone; I am just expressing myself and my opinions. It’s ok if my opinions are different from those of the reader, each of us can have his own opinions. So writing is like talking; if you are afraid of writing, you may end up being afraid of talking.”
– Bangambiki Habyarimana.
Be optimistic and stay positive; you can achieve anything you want if you want to.
Distractions – You find it difficult to concentrate on anything. Kids running around the home, the notification keeps going off on your phone nonstop.
Burn out – You work continuously without breaks and set a schedule that you struggle to meet. In the end, procrastination settles in, and you just can’t move on with writing.
11 Strategies To Help You Get Rid Of Writer’s Block
- Designate a working space
- Try Freewriting
- Avoid perfectionism
- Have a daily writing schedule
- Try waking up early
- Reach out to your community
- Reduce time spent on the internet
- Read books
- Keep writing
- Have a notepad handy
- Take a break
1. Designate A Working Space
Create a peaceful and comfortable area at home where you can concentrate on work. And, if possible, negotiate quiet moments with family and friends.
Let them know your working hours and when best to reach out to you. If that doesn’t work, then you might consider changing the environment.
2. Try Freewriting
Write freely for minutes; just let the ideas flow freely.
You don’t have to worry about getting it right the first time.
Also, forget about spelling, grammar, and punctuation at this stage; just keep writing. You can always go back to edit and fix the errors.
I often don’t worry about correcting anything in my first draft; I get back to fix them.
You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, then gradually, you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence — Octavia Butler
3. Avoid perfectionism
You might not move forward if you want perfect work. So start with a first draft, go back to develop on it. Then, keep writing and worry later.
Don’t try to do your best at once, instead take it a step at a time.
While you thoroughly research the topics to get your facts and figures, don’t try to be perfect.
I’m a perfectionist myself but had to beat myself out of it.
It’s a total time killer.
“All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged. If you imagine the world listening, you’ll never write a line. That’s why privacy is so important. You should write the first draft as if they will never be shown to anyone — Erica Jong
4. Have a Daily Writing Schedule
Start a regular writing routine and keep to it. You may set up a word count goal to help you track your progress.
Possibly with 250 words daily, and in a week, you should have at least one article to publish.
5. Try Waking Up Early
I find out over time that I’m most productive in the early hours. So, I wake up at 5 am, ahead of my kids, to brainstorm ideas for my article most of the time. And really, I achieve a lot within a short period.
So, study your most productive time of the day and make the most of it.
“I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning” — William Faulkner
6. Reach Out To Your Community
Talk to a friend, and if you have a community of writers to brainstorm ideas with, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
You will find motivations in the discussion.
I engage with my community often, and it helps me get inspired and energized to keep moving.
7. Reduce Interaction On The Internet
Turn off social media, instant messaging, notifications, and all distractions while writing.
There will be time after your regular working hours to interact with others. So, put your social media notifications on silence; it sucks your time. But, of course, you can always check your messages after work.
8. Read Books
There’s no better way to learn how to write except by reading. Great writers read.
Though writing is hard work and reading books is one of the ways to hone your writing skills.
Often time, motivational reading books boost my zeal to write more.
9. Keep Writing
One of the effective ways to beat writer’s block is to continue writing. And keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be perfect from the start; it gets better with commitment and practice.
So, be consistent with writing. Don’t write few lines today and go off not publishing for long periods.
“Very often we write down a sentence too early; then another too late; what we have to do is write it down at the proper time; otherwise it’s lost.” — Thomas Bernhard
10. Have A Notepad Handy
Often I’m outside the home shopping for stuff, and great ideas pop up in my mind; I quickly grab my notepad.
Keep in mind that ideas flow when you least expect them. So, take a notepad along when next you go out.
And when any new thoughts creep into your mind, grab the pad. Put those ideas in a safe place; you will surely need them later.
11. Take A Break
Be kind to yourself, don’t overlook taking breaks in between work when necessary. Sometimes, you just need to loosen up. Do what you enjoy doing most, take a long walk, attend an exhibition, talk to a friend, do some exercise, or even go on a short vacation.
I don’t often experience writer’s block myself, but I feel overwhelmed and blank when I work continuously without breaks. And instead of getting off writing, all I need to do is take some time off.
And anytime I get back to my work, fresh ideas flow to my brain. So what I find out is that we need to give our brain some rest in between activities.
You may also try the Pomodoro technique of breaking the time spent on each actitivies into smaller units. So, take a break after every 25 minutes of work.
You can start from the middle, leave the introduction and conclusion. Then come back to it.
Writing can be overwhelming at times, so take frequent breaks in between and get back to work. Then, continue writing, keep pushing and never stop.
There you have it, 11 incredible steps to unblock writer’s block.
What’s your opinion about writer’s block?
How did you get rid of it?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comment. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
I hope you find this article helpful; share it with your friends.