Understanding Writer's Block

Understanding Writer's Block

A Lesson by Imelda Blackheart

You won't learn how to get rid of it just yet, but understanding what writer's block is just happens to be essential information to finally defeat the evil writer's block once an for all!


            For the “professional” authors out there, you might be used to a boatload of pressure from a rude editor or just the deadlines themselves. If you’re like me and have never gotten published before, we get pressure from trying to actually write, whether it be an essay, a poem, an article, or maybe just a blog post. Even the unpublished author usually has deadlines, whether it be set up by themselves or others, and these can be especially terrible with the calamitous writer’s block attacks.  
            Having writer’s block, espiecally when you need to get some writing done quickly but to your own standards, inflates the problem to such a degree that many author’s might bang their head on the desk, both figuratively or literally, just to get the writing to flow from their minds. This terrible condition can also be described as hitting a dead end or driving down a one-way street (with you going the wrong direction, of course).
            Unfortunately, this problem will come to every author sooner or later, and it is a terrible curse that is almost impossible to avoid. It’s funny; writer’s block always comes at the most inconvenient and unexpected of times. Many times we only realize we have writer’s block after we stare at a blank piece of paper or a blank monitor (depending on which you prefer or have available) for hours at a time and still be able to come up with nothing.
            Since writer’s block cannot be avoided, one would think that we should at least be able to manage it properly. One of the mistakes that many authors make is to think of a writer’s block as a dead end on a one-way road, when it should really just be thought of as an obstacle on the road that can be removed. Trust me; unless you are having a seriously bad day, your writer’s block, no matter how bad it seems, can be gotten rid of.

In order to understand how to get rid of writer’s block, we first need to think about why writer’s block strikes in the first place. Although this makes it a little more difficult for me to narrow down, there are many possible reasons why writers have to go through this appalling condition. If you are experiencing this right now, it may be caused by… (Sorry for the smiley face bullet points. My computer was malfunctioning and wouldn’t allow me to make bullet points.)

            (:   You might just have little to no interest in the topic. Maybe you were assigned to write about a topic that you really don’t like, or just think is boring.
            (:    Sometimes writer’s block is just a “heads-up!” signal that reminds us that we don’t have enough information about whatever we’re currently writing on. Writing about something that you don’t really understand or aren’t familiar with is more difficult than writing about something you aren’t even interested in.
            (:    Sometimes author’s just become too tired to think. When you’re extremely tired, your brain only asks for one thing and isn’t capable of much more: rest.
            (:     Our brains are amazing things, but they can  only handle so much at a time. You might just be thinking too much about other things like your family, friends, debts, or errands that you have to do later on.
            (:     Too much information! Some people think that you can never have enough information, but trust me. You can. If you are very excited about whatever topic you have been given or chosen, or you have a lot of information available to you, but you just can’t figure out how to present your point in writing.

            In most cases, our brain just overloads and fails to function the way you want it to. So whenever you experience a case of writer’s block, it is better that you do not pressure yourself further, seeing as how you will only end up with loads of frustration and zero output.

            I’m not trying to convince you that you have to force yourself to write. I understand that sometimes we really just can’t.  However, having writer’s block doesn’t mean that you need to stop doing your work (if you write for a living), since you might even lose your job. If your experiencing a spell of writer’s block and need an immediate remedy, here are a few things you can do. So, without further ado, I reintroduce my smiley face bullet points to help you!

            (:    Just take a break. If it is an option, try to go  out and get some fresh air and relax for a moment. Try to forget about all of the deadlines and other things that you have to do after you finish writing. You might just be thinking about other things so much that you can’t focus enough on writing to actually write anything.
            (:    Take a cat nap! (Speaking of which, why is it called a cat nap? Cat’s sleep for about eight hours a day, right?). Or you could actually sleep like a cat and just go to bed. If you can’t sleep on your writing, just take a thirty minute nap. Hopefully, you are like me and will feel refreshed and ready to go after the nap.
            (:    Do anything else except for writing. If you don’t feel tired enough to take a nap, you could go exercise (walking always clears my brain), do some of those chores you’ve been ignoring, or just watch some mind-numbing television. Your might just need a little jump starting or stimulation to finally get working. It’s kind of like starting your car during winter; you need to heat the engine before you can get it to start.

            You might have noticed that these are just a few of the ways to relax your mind for a  moment. It is common to suffer from writer’s block if you are to stressed or tired, so even the simple act of relaxing for a minute can be a great help to get you focused on the task that you need to consummate.
            Remember, these are just a few simple ways to get your mind working if you are in a rush to write. Hopefully, knowing these few techniques will not stop you from reading my lessons in the future, seeing as how they will contain even more of these writer’s block dispelling tactics that will become more detailed as you read on. Thanks for reading!

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Added on December 12, 2012
Last Updated on December 12, 2012

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Imelda Blackheart
Imelda Blackheart

Beyond enjoying writing like everyone else on this site, I really don't know what else to tell you. :D