According to Wikipedia “Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years.”
As a writer I can tell you that it is one of the worst feelings ever because you want to, or perhaps need to write but the words just aren’t coming out the way you want them to, if at all. I have submitted writing that has been written with writer’s block and clients will like it but I know it is not my best work and I am displeased when I reread it later.
In my article How To Overcome Writers Block I want to share with you the symptoms of writer’s block and some helpful tips on how to overcome it and move forward!
Writers Block Symptoms
- Physical restlessness and an inability to sit still
- Rewriting and picking apart the same sentence
- Unable to find the right word to fit in your sentence
- An inability to focus mentally on the task in hand
- An urge to switch between your writing and other tasks
- A feeling of irritability and dissatisfaction with your work
- Ripping up your work and starting again. Repeatedly.
- Boredom and an urge to sleep or daydream
Each writer is different and will have different symptoms… some will work through the block whilst others find it completely crippling. Famous writers who suffered from writer’s block include Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and Stephen King in addition to a host of others, many of whom postponed work for years on end as a result.
Overcoming Writers Block
So what can you do to overcome writers block? Here are some of the things that work for me:
- Take a nap– Sometimes a short nap (30 minutes or so) is enough to revive you and give you a fresh perspective on your work. Often writers block comes as a result of being overtired.
- Go outside – Remember “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”… go outside, walk a little bit, meet a friend, play with your dog and don’t think about the writing. Don’t talk about it either because a break might be just what you needed!
- Approach it differently – Trying to write a story and you can’t quite get the opening right? Forget the opening and go straight to another section. This won’t work for everyone but it does work for a writer like me who writes ends before beginnings… true story!
- Rethink your angle – If your writer’s block persists then perhaps you should rethink your topic. If we are not comfortable writing about genres or industries then we can get a resulting block. I don’t believe you have to stay within your comfort zone but dipping in and out of it is necessary.
- Coffee, coffee, coffee! – If you can’t focus then sometimes a coffee is just what you need. I’m not advocating the use of caffeine to overcome writing difficulties but let’s be honest sometimes it works! Treat yourself to a really nice coffee, throw some cream on the top and take the time to sit and drink it… this often works for me.
- Be Kind – be kind to yourself when you have writer’s block because beating yourself up and forcing yourself to sit there and finish it won’t produce good results!
Ultimately rest assured that you are not alone because this has happened not only to writers but to artists, musicians and actors since the beginning of time… you are simply joining the writer’s hall of fame!
Do you suffer from writer’s block? Did my tips help you? Follow me on Facebook for more hints and tips and tweet me @charli_says