Writer’s will know this feeling well. You’ll be writing a story, typing our page after page of ideas and inspiration. You’ll be proud of your work, proud of your diction, proud of your creativity, proud of your character development. Suddenly, when the next day arrives, you find yourself sitting in front of your laptop with your mind completely blank. It is deprived of any ideas and creativity, so you sit at your desk for hours trying to find a way to write another chapter. But, as hours pass, you still have nothing. This can continue on for weeks or months until finally you’re train of thought chugs again. This phenomenon is called writer’s block.
As of now, I am experiencing a little bit of writer’s block. About three months ago, my friend and I had started writing and planning out a story we wanted to write. For two months everything went swimmingly as we wrote a prologue and three chapters in just about nine weeks. But, just when I went to write a fourth chapter, I was drained of all inspiration. My muse was gone. Many famed authors have also experienced this writer’s block ranging from Maya Angelou to Ray Bradbury. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, went to Twitter to say:
But, how does writer’s block occur? It may be caused by a variety of things such as stress or little sleep. Having so much on a person’s plate may cause them to focus all their attention on their current task, making them lose all creativity in their other works. In addition, an author may be a perfectionist and overthink their writing. This would lead to a stalled writing period as they would be over analyzing and critiquing themselves for their work. Another reason for writer’s block may just be emotions. When someone is feeling emotional, it may not be the best time for them to write. If they try, the piece may come out being not cohesive or sloppily written. In my case, I believe my writer’s block may be attributed to my preoccupation with school work.
During the last month, my writing started to feel “messy.” In other words, when I read my own work, it didn’t seem very well-written. For a few weeks, I continued to try writing only to see that my writing wasn’t coming out like I wanted. Instead, I decided to take a break from writing, not even touching my story for a week. I came back, deleted all of my previous writing, and continued the chapter anew. But even after this attempt, my work still seemed like it lacked something. Looking up ways to overcome writer’s block, I found plenty of ways to make my writing sound authentic again. A few of the ways to conquer writer’s block were to change writing environments, get rid of distractions, free write, or listen to music. I also found things to not due during writer’s block which included stop writing for a prolonged period of time, making excuses for not writing, and striving for perfection.
Looking back at what I was doing to overcome writer’s block, I saw that I was not doing the right thing. Instead of waiting around for my muse to find me again, I have to find her. Researching these tips have helped me realized what I needed to do to start writing again. Although only a short amount of time has passed since I had researched these solutions, I am ready to put some of them to work. I believe that any writer, no matter how great and how famous, will need to use these tactics at least once in their lifetime. As an author struggling with writer’s block, Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
Although I haven’t practiced any of these “remedies” yet, I have high hopes they’ll come in handy. I know that I will most likely get writer’s block again in the future, but if I do, then I’m prepared. Hopefully, these tips will come to aid some of you writer’s out there as well.