On our self-publishing platform, Writers of USA, there are quite a few writers who start a book and for some reason never finish it. When you are writing it is very important to remain patient and avoid discouragement. Being stuck in front of a blank page (or a blank screen!) is something that happens to many writers. This really frustrating situation is known as ” writer’s block. “» and it happens to all creative people at least once in their life. If you find yourself in that situation right now, keep reading because we are going to give you a couple of ideas on how to overcome writer’s block so that you can emerge from this little in pas triumphant, wiser and less hard on yourself. Maybe we are overpromising, but the first thing you should do to overcome writer’s block is believing in yourself, and to do this we recommend you continue reading:
- How to overcome writer’s block?
- What is writer’s block
- What causes writer’s block
- Tips to overcome writer’s block
- What you can do to get inspired when you’re going through writer’s block
If you are one of those who has managed to survive this blockade and you already have your book ready to print and publish, here we show you how the self-publishing process works in Memoir Ghostwriting Services.
How to overcome writer’s block?
Most books are not written in a single day, during an uninterrupted burst of inspiration, as if the muses moved your fingers across the keyboard, but rather are the result of discipline and a good routine. Therefore, the most important thing to keep in mind to overcome writer’s block is not to discourage yourself or punish yourself. Avoid falling into a spiral of negativity, stop demanding that every line you write is worthy of being carved in stone. Writer’s block, or creative block in general, can happen to everyone and the best thing you can do is give yourself time, seek inspiration and continue writing. At the end of this article you will find a fairly extensive list with ideas to overcome writer’s block and activities to find inspiration to write.
Knowing the causes of writer’s block and some techniques that can help you find inspiration will be very helpful in getting out of this creative block.
What is writer’s block?
The term was first described in 1947 by psychoanalyst Edmund Berger. He identified writer ‘s block and divided it into two types: total or partial: “Its earliest manifestation may be the feeling of insecurity regarding his own creativity and the development of a certain deficiency in style.” According to Berger, lack of self-confidence is one of the main reasons for blocking, although there are many other reasons.
Some even argue that writer’s block doesn’t really exist, and that it is another way of calling insecurity, perfectionism, or a good name for an excuse.
What causes writer’s block?
Either way, we can
- Perfectionism:Your expectations are probably too high. Books are not written, they are rewritten. It is true that before starting to write you must prepare well and outline your story and characters. Despite this, if you see that you are stuck in the process of creating the book, we advise you to start writing based on the outlines you already have made. I assure you that it will not be the definitive version but, at least, you will have a basis on which to rewrite the book later.
- Exhaustion:You are simply exhausted. Your body has its limits – mental, physical, emotional… – and at some point it will stop functioning at its maximum potential, making you unable to write anyway. So it’s not that you’re blocked: You’re exhausted! Take a few days off. Relax and don’t think about writing. Once you’re fit, you’ll likely find the desire to write again.
- Distractions:If you feel less productive and more frustrated, it may be because you have too many things on your mind. Few people have the luxury of not having distractions. Most writers have families, jobs, and responsibilities that take up a large part of their brain. Turn off your smartphone for a while, take a break and take some time to put your affairs in order. You will feel relieved. Maybe it wasn’t writer’s block after all. You simply had too many things on your mind (and on your desk).
- Fear:Many writers are anxious about the idea of exposing their work to other people. They fear criticism or the fact that no one is interested in the story. Fear is one of the main reasons why some hobbyists never become writers.
So the question now is, what can you do to overcome writer’s block? Here are some tips and tricks that can help you.
“There is nothing better than writing well, only rewriting well.”
Tips to overcome writer’s block
Many successful writers have shared their methods for overcoming these empty periods of inspiration. Let’s review two of the most important strategies that these authors have used:
- Keep writing: Writing takes practice. A lot of practice. It’s like any other instrument or sport. Many authors argue that inspiration will only come if you push yourself to keep writing and hire book cover designerfor the good results. For American writer Maya Angelou, the trick was not to think too much. Write nonsense if you have to. But keep writing, no matter what. It may not even matter whether you are satisfied with the result or not. Practice makes a master. In fact, in Naomi Peel ‘s book ‘Writers Dreaming: 26 writers talk about their dreams and the creative process’, Maya AngelouHe explained: “I guess sometimes I have a block, but I don’t like to call it that. That seems to give him more power than I want him to have. What I try to do is write. I can write for two weeks “three sad tigers eat wheat” you know. And it might be the most boring and horrible thing. But I do it. When I write, I write whatever. And then it’s like the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, “Okay. OK. I’m coming””.
- Schedule your writing: This strategy is similar to the previous one and is based on the fact that you need to write every day. For that, Anthony Trollope, one of the most successful novelists of the Victorian era, devised a daily writing routine. He scheduled writing it for a certain period of time per day. He also set a daily goalfor word count and made sure to hit it every day. While he wrote he isolated himself from any possible distraction and forced himself to concentrate only on his words. Get organized and set schedules!
More tips to help you with writer’s block
- Establish writing rituals:Many writers emphasize the importance of writing rituals, such as athletes’ pregame rituals. Writers often perform a sequence of actions before they begin writing. Even without realizing it. The American writer Toni Morrisson, stated in an interview: “I recently spoke with a writer who described something she did every time she went to her desk. I don’t remember exactly what her gesture was – there’s something on her desk that she touches before hitting the computer keyboard – but we started talking about little rituals that one does before starting to write. At first I thought I didn’t have a ritual, but then I remembered that I always get up and make a cup of coffee while it’s still dark – it should be dark – and then I drink the coffee and watch the light. And she said, “Well, that’s a ritual.” Rituals can be as simple as making a cup of tea, playing a particular song, organizing your desk…
- Clear your mind:If none of the above strategies work, do the opposite and stop writing. Put everything aside for a few days and clear your mind. British writer Hilary Mantel offers this advice: “If you get stuck, step away from your desk. Walk, bathe, sleep, bake a cake, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; Whatever you do, don’t stand there frowning at the problem. But don’t make phone calls or go to a party; If you do, other people’s words will enter where your lost words should be. Make space for these words. Be patient”. And what to do? This is what you could do:
What you can do to get inspired when you’re going through writer’s block
- Discuss your story out loud
- Listen to music (or even play a musical instrument)
- Play sports, to get your blood flowing
- Read other books
- Meditate, do yoga
- Take a walk, get lost in some unknown place
- Cycling with no destination in mind
- Change your environment, take a trip to the sea/forest/mountains
- Try a recipe you’ve wanted to cook for a long time
- Play (Legos, puzzles, video games…)
- Read your own ancient texts
- Talk with people
And to start writing, do the following:
- Do some research about your book (about the setting or historical context of your novel)
- Read novels similar to what you want to write
- Generate ideas, also called brainstorming(one of the best tips in artistic creation)
- Play instrumental music
- Read some inspirational quotes
- Try writing horizontally! Many famous authors wrote in bed, Mark Twain, George Orwell, Truman Capote… So why not try it?
- Get a standing desk and try writing standing up like Ernest Hemingway and Albert Camus did
- Be comfortable. You should feel comfortable, invest in a good chair to save your back.
In short, there are infinite possibilities to change the angle, recover the enthusiasm for what was being written and generate new ideas. We even recommend trying them out just to see what results you can get and see how they affect your writing. The main thing if you want to know how to overcome writer’s block is that you don’t let yourself be scared by the blank page or what you write. Remember: it is always easier to rewrite than to write from scratch.