Writer’s Block: What is it? Causes and How to Overcome it

by Jessica Eni

Writer’s block can be a real killer for your creativity, and if it happens often, you can lose motivation and become frustrated, and end up giving up on your writing. 

Most writers, at some point, have faced it. I have. Even famous writers like J.K Rowling and Leo Tolstoy have.

This post will teach you how to tackle the issue and continue writing even when the content doesn’t come easily.

What is Writer’s Block?

It is a lack of inspiration.

When writing feels like a mundane task, even writing 500 words is an uphill battle. 

You can say you’ve lost your muse. You write but at a slower pace and without attaining desired results.

How Long Does Writer’s Block Last?

A day?

Writer’s block can last for some hours or days.

At times, if you do nothing to overcome it, writer’s block can last for weeks or months.

It also depends on the cause. If the cause of your writer’s block is severe, it can last longer.

What are the causes of writer’s block? You might ask. 

Let’s consider some of them.

Causes of Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is a common problem. If you’re a writer, chances are, you’ve experienced it at some point in your career. Now, we want to know what brings about the obstruction to your writing.

  1. Loss of inspiration

Naturally, once in a while, a writer can lose the inspiration to write. It’s normal but shouldn’t last over time.

  1. Depression

This can be a deadly killer of creativity. Depression is associated with a lack of interest in your favorite activities, including writing.

If depression is the cause of your writer’s block, it can last as long as the depression lasts.

Read also: 7 Early Signs of Depression in Young People

  1. Relationship wahala

The problems that come with being in a romantic relationship can be a contributing factor if you’re facing writer’s block.

If your relationship is stressing you, it can affect your level of productivity and, in turn, cause writer’s block at some point.

  1. Shiny object syndrome

You can experience writer’s block when you allow side attractions to distract you from the main purpose you write.

  1. Perfectionism

Many writers (newbies especially) want to make their work look like Chinua Achebe’s. And when they fail to achieve such a feat, it deters their spirit.

  1. Fear

What will they think? Will they like it? Is it compelling enough to make them take action?

Fear of criticism and failure is another major factor you might be suffering writer’s block.

When you start asking, “what if?” Your confidence level drops to the barest minimum, and you become void of ideas to write about. 

Read also: How to Get Rid of Imposter Syndrome

  1. Laziness

You might just be too lazy to write and blame it on writer’s block because it can’t defend itself. 

You’ve known some of the reasons why you face writer’s block; what can you do to overcome it?

How to Overcome Writer’s Block Even When you’re Stuck

It might seem quite difficult or even impossible to be productive while suffering from writer’s block. 

Here are some tips to help you overcome writer’s block.

  1. Read

It could be your content spring dried up, so read. Read to get new ideas. 

Ready to refresh your memory? 

Read books in your niche to give clues about the content/story you should write. 

  1. Try freestyle writing

I use this method more often than the others when I suffer from writer’s block. 

Instead of not writing at all, I write about anything. It could be animals, the latest fashion trends, etc.

  1. Take a break

It might be that you need to take some time off. Stop writing for a while. Channel your energy to other activities.

Try new hobbies. 

  1. Use writing prompts

You’ve run out of ideas; why not use prompts? They engage your thoughts and force you to think. 

With prompts, you lay the groundwork for your piece. 

You can find a thousand and one creative fiction and nonfiction prompts on Google.

Read also: Improve Your Writing: 7 Little Things That Make a Huge Difference in Writing

  1. Picture to text

You can generate content from pictures. Some pictures tell tales.

Go through your gallery; what’s the story behind the pictures there?

Write about it.

  1. Exercise

This will help you unwind and relieve stress. It keeps both your mind and body fit.

  1. Rest

Relax your body. Get quality sleep. Depriving yourself of sleep can cause fatigue. You can try listening to music too. Not the “gbas gbos” kind of music, something soothing.

  1. Network

Connect with other writers. Make them your paddies. Engage them in discussions. When you see your friend doing well, it can motivate you to start writing again.

Read also: 5 Best Social Networking Platforms for Nigerian Entrepreneurs

  1. Don’t be creative

Do not try to force yourself to be creative all the time or think of many things immediately. You will only waste time and energy. 

Sometimes, when you are in a pensive mood, your mind comes up with many ideas that can help to solve your problems.

  1. Focus on one idea at a time

When you have writer’s block, it’s easy to get distracted by other ideas that are clamoring for attention in your mind. 

Nonetheless, focusing on one idea at a time will help you stay focused and prevent those distractions from taking over your workspace.

Conclusion

Some of the reasons for developing writer’s block are mental fatigue, overexposure to a certain topic, laziness, writer’s restlessness, etc.

To overcome writer’s block, you need to understand it. Identify the reason behind it and try to solve it. 

I still recommend not thinking much about what you will write before starting an article. 

  • Write down simple thoughts that come up first and then elaborate on them. 
  • Find inspiration in books or news around you, or even just start typing without thinking about the topic.

Writer’s block happens to the best of us. However, the good news is that it can be overcome. I hope I’ve provided you with a foundation that’ll help you overcome your writer’s block once and for all.

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About Author

Avatar of Jessica Eni
Jessica Eni
My name is Jessica Eni. I am a content writer. I write content for social media pages, brands, blogs, and websites. I'll help you make sales with words.
I am a social media enthusiast, teen aide, and mental health and personal development advocate.
Let's connect on: Facebook, LinkedIn, or WhatsApp.

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