Causes of Writer’s Block

I’m grateful that writer’s block is not a contagious condition . I’d avoid other writers if that were the case. Every writer endures writer’s block in one form or another, so we should look at, and examine, causes before finding the cures.

Writer’s Block includes many symptoms but many causes as well. Sometimes you find yourself staring at a blank page, and finding your brain is equally blank. On other occasions, you find trying to write somehow regressed into a caveman language or that of first grade mentality. Lack of inspiration and creativity, where your muse has taken vacation, leaves you a drooling idiot at the keyboard waiting for a miracle to happen.

Symptoms:

  • Unable to form a coherent sentence.
  • Finding oneself avoiding the writing process entirely.
  • Lack of inspired thought.
  • Lack of interest in what you’ve already written.

Writers carry on, rather than question, their writer’s block. They don’t question the reasons as to what might be causing the trouble. Writer’s block is painful enough, it would seem. By exploring the causes you can also find the means to prevent or even cure the problem.

Lack of ideas might be the cause of your writer’s block. Having no subject is a symptom, not the cause. Lack of imagination arises from a number of possible causes such as lack of sleep, burn out, boredom, or even depression.

Solution:

  • Freewriting- Set a timer for 5-15 minutes and write. Forget about grammar rules and structure. The idea here is to simply get words onto paper. You’d be surprised to the amount of writing that comes out of you.
  • Keeping an idea notebook
  • Read books, magazines, or articles to get ideas
  • Listen to music. Music touches that part of the brain where creativity resides.

Being tired or stressed.

Solutions:

  • Remove the cause of stress, whether this is people or even work.
  • Incorporate a mean where you can leave the stress at the door, and focus on the now. Meditation helps considerably.
  • Get to bed at regular times, and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Use vanilla scents to help promote calm.
  • Exercise, even if it’s a 15 minutes walk.

Allowing life to keep getting in the way. Friends, family, pets, phone, errands, and chores all take part in keeping you from writing. Sometimes a mild care of writer’s block worsens with the constant tug of responsibility nagging at your senses.

  • Set aside the time, even for an hour, to write.
  • Find a place or spot to write. For some writers, this might be a café with a laptop, or a quiet room with a headset to drown out noise. I sometimes jot down notes in a notebook as I take my son to a park or local gym to play.
  • Ask the people in your life to back off during the period you’ve set aside to write. Most people respect this.
  • If you can’t set aside a block of time, then set aside blocks of time. Fifteen minutes here and there add up. Some writers I know write only on the weekends or only late at night.

Some other tips that might help break through the writer’s block:

Keep more than one project open. If I get bored with one story, I move onto something else. I also have my blog(s) to break up the monotony. I may also explore another genre such as poetry, or even working on comics for fun.

Begin anywhere in your story. I tend to like writing scenes, skipping the ‘boring’ parts and just writing the exciting fight scenes or interesting parts. I keep this as a snippet and add later.

Take a break and do something else entirely. This often re-energizes your creativity and puts you in the mood.

“Just do it” is a quote from the Nike Commercials, voicing how you just need to get it done. I take solace knowing that Nike was a Roman goddess of victory. Take control of your muse. Tell yourself that you are the writer, inspired or not, and write anyway. You can always edit later. In the meantime, the idea is on paper.

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4 Comments

Filed under Writer

4 responses to “Causes of Writer’s Block

  1. Hi,
    I discovered your blog by way of a post on Word Wyrd’s blog and thought I’d stop by.

    I find that doing something else for awhile – taking a walk, swimming a few laps – anything that completely takes my mind off the writing process, is the best way jump start the creative juices when writer’s block rears its ugly head. I just have to be careful that I don’t use my “time-outs” as an excuse not to write!

    Great post. Very helpful.

    Like

  2. Very well thought and well presented. Super helpful. Thanks for sharing the tips 😀

    These photos on the right, are they taken from some virtual world applications such as SecondLife etc?

    Like

  3. Pingback: Idea blockage and the 5 Question words | Blogging | s y d e n v™

  4. Yes they are from Second Life. I might add a blog entry about some of the interesting, author-related sims they have there. 😉

    Like

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