The Honest Answer To Why You Think It’s Writer’s Block (And 13 Ways To Fix It)
If you’ve ever sat in front of your computer to write, but stare at the blank screen, you will be forgiven to think you are afflicted with writer’s block.
If you’ve ever felt this way, you are not alone.
But is it really writer’s block?
“No one ever gets talker’s block. No one wakes up in the morning, discovers he has nothing to say and sits quietly, for days or weeks, until the muse hits, until the moment is right, until all the craziness in his life has died down.”
Seth Godin, New York Times bestselling author of Purple Cow
Here are reasons why you may believe you are afflicted with writer’s block.
You are too critical of yourself
Writers are often their own worst critics. Nothing we write is good enough. So, we don’t write at all or we sit on the articles we’ve written. We hide our creativity from the world. Well, be kind to yourself and start writing and sharing.
You are lazy
That’s okay. It happens to the best of us. We are human after all. But don’t blame it on writer’s block.
‘’Writer’s block is just a fancy way of saying, ‘’I don’t feel like doing any work today.’’- Meagan Spooner
You are afraid of being judged
You are afraid of putting yourself out there. The world can be very judgmental and cruel. I totally get it. Don’t let it stifle your work. As a writer, you must grow a thick skin. Besides, we learn from criticisms.
You don’t see yourself as a writer
If you don’t see yourself as a writer, you will not act or treat yourself as one. You need a complete change of mindset. That’s the only way you will begin to write and grow.
You’re aiming for perfection
You want your work to be perfect. You believe it will never be perfect, so, you don’t write. There is no such thing as perfection in writing. Aim for excellence instead. Don’t allow the need for perfectionism stump your creative juice.
If you feel this way, there is a problem. Accept it!
’The problem is acceptance, which is something we’re taught not to do. We’re taught to improve on uncomfortable situations, to change things, alleviate unpleasant feelings. But if you accept the reality that you have been given that you are not in a productive creative period-you free yourself to begin filling up again.’’- Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.
In order to solve the problem of writer’s block, you must explore far and wide in order to get ideas to write.
My two romance novellas were inspired by holidays in Paris, New York, and Venice. When you go on holidays, do you stop to soak in the scenery in front of you, or are you capturing it on camera, where it is unlikely to be seen again?
When you live in the moment you open your eyes and mind to the possibilities around you.
I am a hopeless romantic. I see romance in goodbye kisses. I see romance in bodies crushing against each other on crowded commuter trains. I see romance in a stranger’s smile. I see romance in every laughter or tears.
The possibilities are endless.
2. By Reading all types of books
You read to write! Simple! You would have guessed by now that my genre of preference is romance. I also read thrillers, crime, horror, self-help books etc. It is okay to have a preference. It is also okay to read other genres. Read blogs as well to inspire your writing.
Read to write.
3. Observe people from different backgrounds
You will be amazed at what you can learn just by observing people around you. It’s a real shame what technology has done to our observation skills.
People would rather look at their phones and iPads than look around them. When you immerse yourself in your surroundings and the people, you will never be stumped for ideas again.
4. Don’t learn and grow in isolation, join writer’s groups
Have discussions and exchange ideas with fellow writers. It is crucial to your growth. You cannot grow in isolation. Be part of a community. Ask questions and learn from contributions by other members. You will pick up ideas for blog posts or a book.
5. Be influenced and inspired by creative people
In order to be creative, surround yourself by creative people. We are often inspired and tend to learn from people around us.
6. Turn comments in blog posts into ideas for a post
Make it a duty to comment on other people’s blog. Respond to every comment about your work. Pay close attention because amongst those comments is a blog post or two.
7. Get ideas by watching your favorite TV shows and characters
A world full of ideas jumps at you when you watch your favorite programmes and characters. Get to work. Write down your ideas while you watch.
8. Carry a notepad everywhere you go
It’s a no-brainer, really. A notepad will be handy when you get flashes of ideas on the move.
9. Don’t be afraid to feel naked, share your work
Don’t sit on your work, share it. It can be difficult to leave yourself vulnerable to criticism. The truth is you will be criticised regardless. So, be tough and take it on the chin. It will make you stronger as a person and even stronger as a writer.
10. Find ideas from old blog posts
You have written thousands of blog posts.
Here’s what you could do with them:
- Repurpose some of them into great blog post or articles.
- You can turn related articles into an ebook
- Take one point from your list post and expand it into another blog post or article.
Do this over and over, especially with old posts and you will never lack ideas ever again.
11. Focus is key
When you lack focus, you lack direction. When you lack direction, you get blocked- your creative juice dries up. You end up staring at a blank screen.
12. Adopt the skyscraper method
This is where you take a very successful and popular content out there and put your own spin on it.
13. Join a writing challenge group
You will compete with other writers to write anything from 500 to 1000 words a day. It is a great way to keep motivated and inspired to write.
Explore and expand your horizon.
You will find great ideas for your writing projects.
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