What is Writer’s Block?
It’s a creative slump that occurs to writers when they don’t know what to write. Your writing prose turns to mash. No creative bone is left in your body, and you don’t want to throw in the towel. Writer’s block can occur when writing a book, song, business plan, poem, or even an academic paper. It can impede your writing for days, weeks, or months.
But don’t worry! In this article, we’ll show you brilliant ways how to get rid of writer’s block.
What Causes Writer’s Block?
There are various reasons which cause writer’s block. Some of them include;
It is when you set high standards for yourself. You try to be perfect in your head, and you never begin. Maybe you’re constantly unsatisfied with the words you choose. You think there’s a better way to say what you think. Don’t try too hard to be perfect. Sometimes “good enough” is good enough unless your job is on the line.
Factors Outside your Control.
Sometimes you could be a victim of circumstance. Maybe you’re not feeling well, or your environment is uncomfortable. If you can, resolve these issues first before thinking about writing. If not, you can decide to solve them at a designated time in the future and focus on writing.
Lack of Self-Efficacy
Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in their capacity to execute behaviors necessary to reach specific goals. An example of self-efficacy is being confident you can lose weight by eating healthy and exercising. The same applies to creative writing. If you failed a few times, this could negatively impact your confidence in your abilities.
Sometimes you may overexert yourself, and you need a break. You might have gone away from the path you had originally set out to follow. Start by forgiving yourself, and then come back to your writing plan. You’ll notice that the further you keep going in the writing process, the more emotionally you’ll be to finishing.
The Physiology of Writer’s Block
The part that controls your emotional reaction in your brain is known as the limbic system. When the limbic system fires up, the prefrontal cortex part in the brain seizes to work. This part connects to logic and reason. You’re in fight, flight, or freeze mode. When you have writer’s block, you have no ideas (freeze), get angry or frustrated (fight), or become distracted by something else (flight).
In your brain, there’s a transmitter called norepinephrine. This part keeps you alert and allows you have long-term memory retrieval. But high amounts of it in your body make you restless and anxious. Research shows that your brain goes into creative mode when norepinephrine goes down. It does this by lowering activity connected to critical thinking in the prefrontal cortex. When you lower stress levels, your norepinephrine levels go down.
Techniques Boost Creativity
You can do the following to improve your creativity.
It is a practice developed by a self-writer writer called Julia Cameron. In her book The Artist’s Way, she describes this technique as waking up in the morning and writing down your thoughts.
This technique works on various levels. Psychologists tell their patients to write down their thoughts. The results they get are the output of what is brewing in their heads. Some people transfer heavy emotions and thoughts in their artwork.
With this technique, your mind gets the clarity it needs for creativity by eliminating all the clutter.
The Six Thinking Hats
This technique originates from the psychiatrist Edward de Bono. In his book Six Thinking Hats, he assigns six colors to mental processes:
- Black- Pointing out issues with the intent to overcome them.
- White- It focuses on known or needed information. Just the facts.
- Yellow- Optimistic response. You explore the positives and probe for value and benefit.
- Red- You express your emotions and feelings and share like and dislikes.
- Green- You think outside the box by exploring new concepts and perceptions.
- Blue- Managing thinking process. It’s the control mechanism that ensures you observe the six thinking hats.
Some of the uses of hart include:
- Generating first ideas
- Deciding between choices
- To formulate a strategy
- Resolving issues
- Performance review
- Immediate assessment and response
- Noticing how to solve an issue
- Continual improvement process
- Running meetings
- Public speaking
- Project management
How to Overcome Writer’s Block
Your brain will get sluggish if you’re trapped in the same thinking pattern or doing the same old routines. Although our routines are unavoidable, the best way is to get out of a boring routine. Here are the ways you can do just that.
Think of many ideas as possible, good or even bad. Even the worst ideas can make everything click on your head and resolve your creative stupor. But do it by writing down a list of the ideas that pop into your mind. You can also have a picture, list, or blueprint. It will help in the organization and direction of your ideas.
Go for a Long-Distance walk.
According to the American Academy of Neurology, people who exercise regularly keep their ability to think well into old age. Therefore, exercising or going for long-distance walks can help you overcome writer’s block.
Apply Writing Prompts.
Writing prompts are brief sentences that inspire a writer by proving a potential topic idea or starting point of an academic paper. A writing prompt will help generate ideas for you.
Setting A Writing Schedule.
Human bodies usually synchronize with routines. We have something known as circadian rhythm, which is an approximately 24hr physiology cycle. Your level of energy or tiredness will go up or down depending on the time of day. If you set a writing schedule, you’ll eventually train your brain to react predictably. You’ll be able to schedule your creativity.
Creativity comes when you’re relaxed. To trick your brain into chronic relaxation, sit somewhere quiet and cozy. Then breathe in and out slowly while observing your breath. By doing so, you’ll send messages to the replicant part of the brain to activate the relaxation mode.
Use oblique techniques
Musician Brian Eno and artist Peter Schmidt created this method. What is it? It’s a series of cards with words that assist to think of open-ended situations. This technique will reveal some strong mental triggers that will guide your mind down a very creative path.
Apply the Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro technique has six steps;
- Pick a task
- Set a timer to 25 minutes
- Get to work
- When the timer rings, stop work
- Take a short 3-5 minutes break and continue
- After doing that four times, take a 15-30 minutes break
Ways to Start a Story
Here are a few ways to help you get started.
Start in the Middle
Create something and explain where it came from. You can do so by adding who or what it is, why it is, and how it got to where it’s now.
Build up to the Action
Start small. By doing so, you can build up to the main action later. You must ensure your writer is intrigued by what happens next. If you start with an action-packed hook, maintain that level throughout your creative pursuit. Orherwiese your audience attention will wane.
Start with a Structure
Map out your ideas into a structured outline. If you’re a visual learner, having a blueprint will help you to complete your idea. The outline usually has three parts; Begging, middle, and end.
Make it up as you go Along
Sometimes it’s essential to make it up along as you write out an entire concept or narrative. Once you’re done, you can identify and change the weakest parts. However, this method is great for ideas that need expanding.
We hope this article will guide you to get rid of writer’s block. Step out of your comfort zone. Just make sure to follow the advice on this page. You will get all the methods and techniques to help you avoid creative dry spells.