Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? I have. There are days when the words flow and others when I can’t put two words together. This caused me to search for reasons and solutions for writer’s block. Read on to learn what I discovered.
Writer’s block is a normal condition that affects writers (authors, novelists, bloggers, journal lovers, etc.) when they struggle to produce original written content. This can cause a lack of motivation, inspiration, and creativity, making it difficult to write.
Created in Canva.
7 Reasons for Writer’s Block
There are several reasons writer’s block occurs, including:
When a writer has high standards for their work, they may struggle to start or complete a project, leading to a block.
For example, when I was working on my first novel, I constantly rewrote the same sentences and paragraphs over and over, trying to perfect my writing. Revising my first chapter multiple times. I thought it needed to be perfect before I could move on to the next chapter or scene. Again and again, I kept going back and tweaking parts, trying to make it better. But this led to a lack of progress and an eventual block.
1. Flag the parts that you want to improve, move on and come back to it later. It is important to get the basics of the story down first before you edit.
2. Experiment with a different writing style or genre can help you break out of a rut and see things from a new perspective.
Writing is a demanding task, and too much of it can lead to burnout and a lack of creativity.
For example, sometimes I work hard, put in long hours and sacrifice my personal life to meet my deadlines. When I am constantly under pressure to produce high-quality writing, I feel drained and exhausted.
I know writers who lose their passion for writing and feel as though they are just going through the motions. They find it difficult to generate new ideas and their writing becomes stale.
Take a break and clear your mind. Step away from your work and engage in a different activity. Go for a walk, exercise, or do something creative like drawing or painting.
Distractions like social media, emails, and other notifications can take a writer’s focus away from their work and lead to a block.
For example: Sometimes when I sit down at my desk, ready to start my work for the day, open my laptop to write, but within a few minutes, my phone buzzes with notifications from social media, emails, and text messages. I feel the urge to check them, even though I know it will take me away from my work. When I frequently switch between writing and my phone, I struggle to focus and stay productive.
To overcome this, try the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes of focused work, followed by a 5-minute break. During the 25 minutes of focused work, turn off your phone, close all non-essential tabs on your computer, and write with no distractions.
This technique can help writers stay focused and overcome distractions, allowing them to make steady progress with their work.
Related Reading: 7 Easy Time Management Tips for Writers
When writers spend too much time thinking about their work and analyzing every aspect, it can lead to a block.
For example: Sometimes I obsess too much over the little details. In my first novel, I spent so much time researching my setting, because I wanted everything to be realistic. I even went to CAA and picked up maps and tour books for the area. The point is that I spent hours of time researching for one or two sentences in the book.
Try freewriting. Freewriting is a technique where you write continuously for a set period without worrying about grammar, spelling, or coherence. This can help to get your ideas flowing.
Use prompts. Writing prompts can help you get started by providing you with a starting point or a specific theme to write about.
5. Fear of Failure
Fear of not being good enough or not meeting expectations can cause a writer to hesitate and become blocked.
For example: Some writers are afraid that their writing is not good enough and that they will never be successful. They struggle to start new projects or even to finish old ones, because they are afraid that their work will get rejected. They constantly compare their work to that of other writers and feel inadequate.
Collaborate with other writers. Collaborating can help you get feedback, fresh ideas, and motivation. Sharing your work with others can also help to build your confidence and overcome writer’s block.
Related Reading: 10 Ways to Find the Time, Inspiration or Motivation to Write
6. Lack of Motivation
When a writer is not passionate about their work, it’s difficult to find the motivation to write.
For example, when I am not feeling inspired or motivated, it’s difficult to get started, which causes a lack of progress and decreased productivity.
Change your environment. Moving to a different location or changing the environment in which you work can help to stimulate creativity. Sometimes listening to people around you speak can give you ideas.
7. Pressure to Perform
When a writer feels pressure to produce work that meets their own or others’ expectations, it can cause them to become blocked.
For example: A writer has just signed a book deal and is under pressure to deliver. They feel overwhelmed by the expectations of their publisher, their fans, and themselves. Because they are afraid of not meeting these expectations and are feeling pressure to produce a high-quality book that their audience will love. They are constantly stressing about the content of the book and are struggling to write freely and creatively.
1. Set achievable writing goals: Setting small, achievable writing goals can help you stay focused and motivated.
2. Try a writing challenge. Using my 50,000 words in 50 days challenge I finished my novel.
Last Words on Writer’s Block
So far, we have discussed seven reasons for writer’s block with examples and solutions. How do you recover from writer’s block? Let me know in the comments.
Feature image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.