Writer’s Block

Features, Self-help

Vol. 25, Issue 17, 17 February 2023

A writer’s block – is a common struggle faced by many writers. When you find yourself staring at a blank screen for a long time hoping for ideas to flow in but being unable to find the right words. This is a common occurrence that happens to star journalists to amateur novelists. 

The reasons for your block might be different, however there are some common causes of your writer’s block.  

The most common of them all is – fear. Many writers struggle to put their ideas into words out of fear of rejection or dislike from their audience. The fear of being critiqued and ridiculed usually even discourages writers to even start hence they give up before even starting. Timing is another reason why most writers face writer’s block. It just might not be your time to write yet or you might need to experience something peculiar to ‘reboot’ your system. 

Some writers are troubled by the restraints placed on them by the ‘rules’ of writing and struggle to express their emotions and creativity. This is a valid response to having limited options when writing therefore making the writer feel discomfort and unmotivated to write. Perfectionism is also one of the major causes. Constantly comparing your writing style to others results in developing an inferiority complex and you try to get it perfect in your head. You might never begin and if you actually do begin your story, the chances of hitting that publish button decrease and causes you to feel more doubtful. 

To get over writer’s block, here are some tips and tricks that can help.  

Try going for a break. Sometimes when your body is either exhausted or just not ready to write yet, do not pressure it. Instead, take a break and when it feels you are ready, only then try to review your work and take it easy. Indulge yourself in other activities that you might enjoy. These activities can either be going for a walk, hiking or something simple like doing the laundry, cleaning, showering or cooking. Real-life simulations help recharge the brain with new ideas and create scenarios out of your observations. Keep yourself away from the desk. 

You can also try drawing a more visually presenting chapter. When you are unsure of continuing the story, draw pictures or diagrams. Visualization helps whenever you are stuck and cannot put your ideas in words anymore. Giving yourself deadlines is also very useful. Sometimes what you need might be more pressure. Time pressure forces one to focus and make decisions that you might be avoiding.  

The last piece of advice would be to write freely. It is important not to always worry about the sentence structure, grammar, spelling, or format of the article. Giving your mind some space and freedom to put out wild ideas at random helps the brain to feel lighter and be more productive for the things that it needs to focus on. While most of the ideas written down whilst freewriting will be unusable, it is a good way to cure yourself of the block and maybe you might get some excellent, out-of-this-world ideas out of it. 

Sahar Farzand
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