Have you ever sat down to write, only to find that your mind is completely blank? Hours pass and you haven’t written anything. You stare at the blank sheet of paper, unable to think of a single word to write. This is known as writer's block. Don't worry, you aren't alone.
Writer’s block is the subject of much discussion and debate. Celebrated authors like Toni Morrison have discredited the very existence of writer’s block while others like Jhumpa Lahiri consider it a “natural part of the creative process”.
Everyone, no matter their area of work, has periods when they’re unable to work because they’re either tired, sleepy or in need of a break. Similarly, writer’s block is a phase where one runs out of ideas to write about. It’s our mind’s way of telling us that it needs a creative push.
Let’s look at the meaning of a writer’s block and how to overcome it.
What Is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block is one of the most common phenomena in a writer’s life. The term is self-explanatory. It occurs when something limits your ability to write.
Imagine you have to cross the road but there’s a wall blocking your path. No matter how hard you try, you can’t leap over it or go around it. Writer’s block is a similar wall in your mind that blocks the creative process. Different authors and creative professionals have different views on this creative ‘block’ because they’ve all experienced it and deal with it in unique ways.
Toni Morrison, the author of Beloved, has described how she felt she was at work even when she wasn’t writing. Her time away from her desk was spent on research, coming up with ideas and talking to people. But for writers like Jhumpa Lahiri, the author of The Namesake, writer’s block is like missing the pieces of a puzzle. You might have the time to write, but you can’t concentrate.
The first step to overcoming writer’s block is realizing that there is in fact a creative block. Writing proficiently requires your full attention. If you’re distracted, you can’t come up with fresh ideas or create new content. So let’s discuss how to deal with writer’s block so you can once again weave inspiring stories.
How To Overcome Writer’s Block
Different people have different ways of overcoming writer’s block. You may take only a few days to come out of the rut you’re stuck in, while someone else may take much longer. If you have ever wondered how to get over writer’s block, read on for some tips that will help drive you in the right direction.
Read A Little Every Day
A simple and often overlooked way to overcome writer’s block is to start reading a little every day. It doesn’t have to be fiction. You can read editorials, blog posts and testimonials from other writers. There’s no shortage of information these days, so make use of it!
Reading improves your knowledge of a particular subject and opens up avenues for creativity. You could be reading about old bookstores and get an idea for a travel article. Or maybe you read about a historical event and decide to set your story in that era. Reading other people’s writing can inspire you to work on your craft.
Visit Friends And Family
Talking to close friends and family is a great way to overcome writer’s block because it gives you a break from your routine. When you engage with others you think about other people and what they’re going through. You learn about their views on different subjects. Sometimes, an idea crops up unexpectedly as a result of enriching conversations.
Spend time with the people you love so you can get away from your thoughts for a while. Your friends and family can bring a perspective that might help you in your writing.
Find Creative Ways To Spend Your Time
When you’re experiencing writer’s block, you might spend hours staring at your computer screen without writing a single word. Instead of wasting time doing nothing, try to find creative ways to boost your productivity. You can paint, listen to music or visit an art gallery. Many people learn a new language to discover a new country and its culture.
You don’t just have to write all day. There are many exciting ways to spend your day, so find something you love doing and use your time well. Other creative activities can often help you get your writing juices flowing again.
Even if you’re a proficient writer, there are days when you simply don’t want to write and need a break. Just make sure you make the most of your breaks so that you return to writing refreshed!
Writing is a skill that you can master over time with practice. Harappa Education’s Writing Proficiently course will help you improve your writing. Sign up for the course to learn about key ideas and concepts to write everything, from academic papers to office communication. Overcome your writer’s block and master the art of writing well!
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