Is writer’s block a real thing? And how do you overcome it?
The written word is vital in a wide range of different professions. However, anyone who writes for a living will agree that writer’s block can be a huge stumbling point and many people’s jobs hang in the balance when it comes to consistently creating output.
The feeling of sitting in front of a blank computer screen, struggling to know what to write is something many writers can relate to. Whether it is an imagination mind block, lack of inspiration or minimal research, writer’s block can present itself in a number of different ways.
Whether writer’s block is a regular occurrence or just something that a writer has to deal with once in a while, there is no denying it is an extremely frustrating phenomenon.
Here at Champions Publishing we do a lot of writing and know a thing or two about writer’s block, so, give you our top tips on how to overcome it.
What is writer’s block?
The origins of writer’s block can be traced back centuries, but the term was first coined in 1947 by psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler. Whilst most people’s block will only last for around a day, it can last much longer for others, especially those who are producing longer pieces of text such as a novel.
Whilst no one quite knows for sure how these blocks are triggered, many psychologists have suggested that external circumstances in people’s lives can play a part such as stress.
As well as this, some scientists have theorised that if a person is under stress, such as a looming deadline, then their brain limits creativity which can also then result in writer’s block.
Even the most acclaimed of authors haven’t escaped the burden of writer’s block, perhaps the most famous example of it happened to author of Moby–Dick, Herman Melville. A few years after completing the book he quit writing, citing writer’s block as one of the reasons. As well as the psychological reasons behind writer’s block, other common causes can include things such as fear of taking risks, lack of motivation, inability to think of ideas and a fear of being judged.
However, whilst everyone may have a different reason for suffering from writer’s block, overcoming it is a whole different story…
How to overcome it
There is no full proof treatment for writer’s block, however, there are several techniques you can try to find a way around it:
· Get away from your screen – this can help you to re-energise and clear your head when writer’s block is at its worst.
· Go for a walk, this can include grabbing a drink or busying yourself with another task to try and get yourself back in the right headspace
· List down your thoughts you can either write a list paper or try brainstorming your ideas
· Utilise your colleague's friends or family, getting their opinions can be extremely beneficial so why not invite them all round to chat about the work?
· Leave a sentence incomplete before logging off your computer. That way when you return you will start the writing by completing the sentence.
All of these techniques have the potential to help with writer’s block, but there is no set rule that is perfect for everyone. If you are suffering from writer’s block the best way to approach the situation is to try various techniques and see what suits you best.