I want to begin this topic by saying that I am in no way, shape or form an authority on the subject matter. Having said that, I am someone to whom this happens to from time to time. If you too are a blogger, an editor, freelancer or whatever your career entails, chances are you’ve been there. That moment when you find yourself mysteriously lost without words.
I want to start off by addressing some of the reasons as to why this may happen. I’m sure there exists a million and one things that contributes to writer’s block but I’ve narrowed it down to some of the ones that have personally affected me. While chatting with a couple other bloggers on this topic it turns out that it’s much more common than I thought. It actually felt good to know that I wasn’t the only one experiencing writer’s block nor will I be the last.
common causes for writer‘s block
- Distractions: This is perhaps my biggest cause for writer’s block! Having a big family is awesome but when I have to sit and dedicate time for the blog often times they happen to need me the most. Distractions are seriously hard to ignore. If you surround yourself with people and noise while trying to concentrate on your writing, chances are you’re gonna end up stuck on the first word.
- Insecurity: Many writer’s have a lack of confidence when trying jot down what they’re thinking or feeling. Whether you fear putting yourself ‘out there’ or think that your ideas aren’t important, insecurity can creep up on you and debilitate your writing skills. Often times you end up with feelings of anxiety and accomplish absolutely nothing.
- Motivation: The lack of motivation is an obvious cause for writer’s block. It is often a symptom of depression or of some other personal matter. Motivation is a major component to creating good content. It has to be present in order to get your writing juices going.
- Timing: “I’ll get it done next week.” The timing just isn’t right. You think that putting it off for another hour, day or week you will have found the perfect words to tell the story. Next thing you know, a month has gone by and you’re still trying to figure out when will be the right time to write.
- Life happens: There may be times when something major has taken over your life and you just can’t even think let alone write. This however is the only exception. Unless of course your income is based solely on writing then you should dedicate some time to handle the situations that are interrupting your writing then come back to it. Be careful not to make a habit of it.
Now that we’ve discussed a few reasons for having writer’s block, lets talk about how to overcome it. Unfortunately I don’t have a formula for beating that little devil. It’s kind of trial and error. There isn’t a quick fix and it can really be a tough thing to figure out. I’ve struggled with it on and off and every time I’ve handled it a little differently. I guess for me it all depends on what I think is causing the block. The one thing that is a sure thing, is that you just have to tackle it. Find what works for you and run with it.
solutions to writer‘s block
- Change of scenery: This is perhaps my biggest friend when it comes to beating the little devil! Sometimes all you need is literally a change of scenery. Ever wonder why you find people sitting at coffee shops with laptops open typing away? Sitting outside on the patio or even at a park is another simple way to mix things up and get out of a rut.
- Routine: I’m a creature of habit and I work best knowing what my day entails. Some people like trying new things all the time but often find themselves wondering where did the time go. Routine is a helper in that it sets the tone for you without the fear of missing out. Make a little routine, start small and work your way toward a goal. Maybe all you need is one hour a day to dedicate to writing. Maybe you need 8, whichever it is, dedicate the time to schedule a routine and then stick to it.
- Brainstrom: If an idea pops up jot it down! If you take a few minutes to brainstorm you’ll be surprised at the things you come up with, just don’t let your confidence dwindle. Sometimes I do my best brainstorming while showering!
- Read: This one’s a no brainer, read, read, read. Especially read what other bloggers are talking about. You will still be you and you will still come up with your own ideas, but its helpful to know what others are writing and taking about. You’re not copying, you’re just reinventing the wheel and making it your own especially if it’s something that you are familiar with or have first hand experience in.
- Don’t obsess over it: This one really works wonders for me. You may have started on something, then all of a sudden you’re stuck. You can’t go on. Don’t obsess over it! Sometimes you need a break. Put the pen down or computer away and let go. Come back to it later after you’ve eaten, after a nice shower, after a walk, just don’t sit and get yourself frustrated. Bust out the old iPod and play some soft background music. The ideas will pop back into your head when you’re more relaxed.
- Write: Just do it! Remember that slogan of long ago by NIKE? Yeah, just do it! Take out your computer, tablet, paper, whatever and just write! You gotta start somewhere. Once you do, I tell ya, the juices start flowing and you’ll be on your way.
- Don’t give up: Good things happen to those who dedicate themselves. I know this sounds like such a cliché but in all seriousness, you can’t give up. It’s not an option! It takes all of the above plus courage and then some to not give in to that little whisper telling you it’s not possible! Trust me, it’s all worth it. That piece you finally wrote, it’s all you. Be proud of it.
If I didn’t bore you and you actually made it all the way down here, then I sincerely hope my tips for overcoming writer’s block was helpful! Like I said before, there isn’t a magic formula for beating it. You have to approach it in a manner that works for you. Knowing that this is something that even the most talented of writers face is an understatement. They simply didn’t give up.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Look for more blogging life tips in the new series.