Most writer’s at some point in their lives face a writer’s block which is a loss of the ability to produce any new work. Instead of feeling energized and excited about getting started on a new assignment, the writer’s find themselves to be stressed, apprehensive and demotivated. Such adverse feelings make it difficult to get started, resulting in a writer’s block. The intensity of the condition varies from temporary to extreme. While temporary writer’s block in which the writer’s are unable to get started on one particular assignment is most common, extreme conditions may prevent them from writing for years and may even result in many of them giving up a career as a writer.
The possible causes of the condition are many. Temporary writer’s block may result from typically creative problems that arise from within an author’s work itself. A writer may not feel inspired any longer, may be temporarily distracted or may have a feeling that something incomplete requires completion. If the assignment is beyond the writer’s ability, or the writer looks upon his/her own work as inferior or unsuitable, may also cause a temporary writer’s block.
Extreme forms of writer’s block may be a result of unfavorable events in the writer’s personal life or career, such as financial loss, loss of a dear one, physical illness, end of a project, depression etc. It may also be caused by trying to write too fast, too slow or against the writer’s natural style. In some instances, the psychological pressure on a writer to produce another high quality work due to a recent big success may also contribute to writer’s block.
Professional writer’s have suggested a number of ways that can help prevent and overcome writer’s block:
1. Have a writing schedule in place:
Decide upon a place and time where you will sit and write everyday. Even if words do not flow during the initial few days of your routine, do not give up. Eventually your mind — and your muse — will come together.
2. Think of writing as a full-time job:
It is important to consider yourself as a full time worker who instead of bricks and cement works with vocabulary and grammar to create masterpieces.
3. Take it easy:
When writing, take it easy and turn off the critical brain. Criticize only when you are editing the document.
4. Set your own deadlines:
Setting realistic deadlines for yourself is important and helpful. It enables you produce high quality work within the timeline expected by your sponsor (if any). Having a writing partner who encourages you and keeps an eye on your time lines can prove beneficial.
5. Take time off:
If you have just finished one assignment it is a good idea to take some time off. Spend time with dear ones, put together new ideas, gather new experiences and feel inspired before you start your next project.
6. Work on multiple projects:
Working simultaneously on more than one project takes away boredom. You can switch from one assignment to another making your work more enjoyable. This technique has helped many writer’s overcome their writer’s block.
7. Introspect to identify any major issues:
Talk to your writer friends to try to identify any personal or professional deep seated issues that may be a cause of your writer’s block. Should your writer’s block continue, you must seek professional help through counselling. Many counselor’s specialize in helping artists reconnect with their creativity.