Have you ever felt stuck when writing or been in a situation where you just didn’t know what to write? What exactly is the name of that infectious disease that causes inspiration blockage and has you trying to paper-cut your veins open?

Let me tell you a brief story about Matt, the communications officer at XYZ Inc. Matt was asked to write an advertisement script for a new product the company wanted to launch. This was not his first rodeo, but something just didn’t fell right this time. He couldn’t get his thoughts together. He took a short recess and even put on some music, as was his custom when feeling stuck in writing, but none of those techniques worked. He was somewhat lost.

It is a common experience among writers to feel stuck during writing, and this is called ‘writer’s block’. Writer’s block is a temporary condition that is primarily associated with writing. It is best described as an overwhelming feeling of being stuck in the process of writing, without the ability to proceed, having no inspiration to write, or too stressed to think of what to write.

Here’s the thing: if you are often out of inspiration and lacking enthusiasm, or you constantly find yourself mindlessly eating or tapping your pen on your desk because you feel empty and not knowing what to write, you’ve come to the right place to be. Carefully follow this article to the end.

                                                                                                                                                                What are the Causes of Writer’s Block?

There is a saying that a problem identified is half-solved. This holds true for all spheres of life. When you identify a problem, it becomes easy to chart a way through to the solution.

Bringing this to writing, the first step to understanding writer’s block is to identify its causes, all of which can be classified either as internal or external.

Internal Factors

  1. Fear: Most writers struggle with the fear of putting themselves and their ideas out there. Some people fear judgement from others or criticism of their work. This emotion often has to do with the personality of the writer. They fear being rejected by publishers or their readers.

Fear obstructs inspiration and creates a frame of mind that makes you feel inadequate, thereby preventing you from expressing yourself fully. Fear is possibly the biggest reason why some writers don’t make it through a project.

  • Perfectionism: Another common block for writers and creatives of all walks is perfectionism. Perfectionism is somewhat akin to fear; it stems from an excessive need to please everyone and never make a mistake.

It’s normal to want to do our very best, to want to get everything right before we even start our first sentence. But most people use perfectionism as a protection mechanism to protect themselves from harsh criticism or failure. Unfortunately, trying to write the perfect sentence, paragraph, or book causes many writers to never write a single word.

  • Too Many Ideas: This is a classic case of “jack of all trade and master of none.” People often find it difficult to write because they have too many ideas in their heads. As a result, they do not know where to begin, hence they feel stuck. If you will master the art of writing, then you must beware of this factor and avoid it at all cost. A simple solution to this is to pick one idea per time and write about it.

External Factors

  1. Pressure: In other cases, a person experiencing writer’s block doesn’t actually want to write, but they are being pressured into writing by others, often parents or teachers or mentors or society. This is especially common in academic environments where children are coerced into writing, or even threatened by their teacher.

You must understand that writing comes from a place of inspiration and should not be compelled. Most best-selling books were inspired, not coerced.

  • Distractions: To a large extent, a considerable number of people are addicted to the intermittent notifications from their mobile phones, television announcements and adverts. Unfortunately, the very instrument with which we do our work is what distracts us the most. In order to become a prolific writer, your inspiration must be fluid; it should flow easily and consistently. This is why many inspired projects have come from places of solitude. As a writer, you must kill all forms of distractions.

Myths About Writing

Writing, much like speech, should be natural. I am of the perception that everyone that speaks should be able to write. However, it takes certain skills to write a great and intelligible piece.

Beyond that, there are certain myths about writing that you must debunk in your mind if you must make success of your writing skill. They are:

1. The characters control the writer: There is a common belief that the character about whom you are writing determines and controls your thought process. This is incorrect. You are the initiator of the material. The idea and concept for a character began in your mind, therefore, you are in control of what and whom you write about.

So, saying that characters decide where the story goes is like saying they are real humans, with free will and strong personalities. All inspiration comes from the writer’s mind and you choose to give each character their distinct role in your writing, howbeit following the story as it evolves – in your mind.                                                                                                                                                                                                

2. Real writers find writing easy: Writing does not get easier with time, really; it just gets faster. Meaningful writing comes from ruthless introspection.

If writing doesn’t come easy to you and you struggle to put your imaginations into words, there are only two possible explanations: you need to practice more or you need another source of inspiration. Meditation is a great tool for calming your mind. Experienced writers also struggle to write sometimes, but they have learned to master their emotions in order to unearth hidden sources of inspirations within them.                                      

How to Get Inspired to Write

  1. Love what you do: We become good at what we enjoy when we enjoy what we do and do it consistently. If you don’t love writing, it will be difficult for you to create something worthy of reading, because you won’t feel the need to write every time. And the rule of expertise says that you must give in at least 10,000 hours to become good at something. So, be confident in yourself, love what you do, and you will soon find yourself picking pieces of inspiration from even the most mundane things of life.
  • Read a lot: Just from reading the way an author writes you can come up with a twist to write about. You can start from there and gradually work your way into an entirely new creation.
  • Listen to music: Music is a powerful trigger for the mind. Try to listen to different genres of music. This deviation from the norm is a good way to break out of routine and help you find new sources of inspiration.  This might not work for everyone, so the point here is to engage in an activity that calms you and makes you feel relaxed. It could be something as simple as taking a walk or watching a movie.
  • Observe nature: Taking a look at the simple things in life can add to our creativity. You can observe and watch the landscape, an insect crawling on a plant leaf, or even listening to the chirps of birds. The sights, sounds, and smell of nature are a powerful source of inspiration.

In conclusion, writer’s block is real, but it is not incurable. You just have to find what makes you tick, find what motivates you, and use that as an anchor. Your writing journey has begun, don’t let a block stop you. Smash it instead!