What’s Causing Your Writer’s Block?

By on February 5, 2020

Writer's block is a condition that, unfortunately, most writers will suffer from at some point during their careers. Basically, if you write regularly and for long enough, there is likely to be a point where you try to sit down and get on with things, but you just can't.

Writer's block affects a writer's ability to produce new material or even to modify existing work. It slows down the creative process, often stopping it entirely, and it can be very challenging to overcome.

Experiencing writer's block might involve feeling unable to come up with new ideas, losing confidence in your writing skills, and being generally unable to be productive, or move forward with your writing, despite your best efforts.

Lots of famous writers spoke out about writer's block and how they suffered from this affliction.

Authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Joseph Mitchell, and Herman Melville, who stopped writing novels altogether a few years after writing the revered Moby-Dick all suffered from writer's block.

Knowing the cause of writer's block can often be the first step that's necessary to help retrieve it. It has several reasons, and exploring these can get a writer to the root of the problem and enables them to tackle it head-on.

So what might be causing your writer's block? Let's take a look.

A lack of inspiration

Sometimes the work itself is the issue - an idea falls apart, or the story seems to dry up.

Distracting events

If you don't create a harmonious working environment or are easily distracted writer's block can occur

Adverse circumstances

Significant life events can knock confidence or mean it becomes impossible to write.

Physical and mental illness

A debilitating illness can have a considerable impact on one's ability to write.

Deadlines and pressure

If a writer puts themselves under too much stress, the brain can react with the classic 'fight or flight' response. This can massively hinder a person's creativity, leaving them stuck and unable to progress.

Happily, there are several tried and tested ways to overcome writer's block, and once you know the cause, it is far easier to treat oneself.

Some treatments include joining a class or discussing your writing with your peers, asking yourself questions about your writing process, free writing, finding a support group to encourage you and help boost confidence in your ability to write, and setting more achievable deadlines.

It has also been proven that writers who break down their work into smaller, more manageable chunks are less likely to be affected by writer's block and better equipped to deal with it if they do.

By understanding the cause of your writer's block, you can take the most appropriate course to recovery. The sooner you understand why this is happening to you the sooner you can take action against it. Remember, writer's block happens to almost all of us, but it's about recovering from it and persevering that counts.

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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