Writer’s block is a phenomenon that all kinds of authors experience at one point or another in their career. It can even happen multiple times, and span over periods lasting a couple of days to several years.
When this happens to you, it can feel like you’ve dug yourself into a hole with no easy way out. It’s always hard to overcome writer’s block, especially if it’s your first time going through the struggle.
Thankfully, you can always take steps to fix it! Read on to discover why you’re having trouble with writing, and find several ways to overcome writer’s block at your own pace.
8 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block
- Figure out the problem
Try to find out why you’ve suddenly lost the drive to write. There are many possible causes, and knowing the source of the problem is already half of the solution.
Here’s why you might be finding it difficult to write:
- You’re anxious or afraid
A lot of authors, especially new ones, are afraid of sharing their work with the rest of the world. Writing can expose so much of yourself and it’s understandable to be hesitant, or try to censor yourself in fear of rejection.
If this is the case, don’t worry! Fear is natural and healthy. It means that you truly care about your work.and how it’s perceived. Just don’t let it stop you from expressing yourself. The greatest writers are always the most genuine and authentic ones.
- You’re a perfectionist.
Perfectionism is one of your greatest self-saboteurs in the writing world. Being too concerned with making your work meet impossible standards from the get-go will only do you more harm than good.
Being too self-conscious about your work can slow you down. Worst case scenario, you won’t even begin to write unless you feel like it’s good enough. Having this mindset will make you feel as though nothing is ever good enough. That’s how you put yourself into an endless cycle of writer’s block.
Learn how to trust the process. You’ll get there!
- You keep comparing yourself to others.
Let’s face it. No one automatically writes like Stephen King or Neil Gaiman when they’re first starting out, and neither will you. With how saturated the book industry is, comparing yourself to other authors will get you nowhere.
Ultimately, the one factor that will make you stand out as a writer is your own unique style. Focus and compete with no one but yourself to avoid getting in your own head.
Of course, there are a lot of other reasons why you can’t quickly overcome writer’s block. In this case, try to take some time off for some reflection and quiet time. Ask yourself what’s really holding you back, and work from there.
Each problem you have requires a different solution. When you finally figure out why you’re struggling, you can try out the other writing prompts and suggestions listed below.
- Let inspiration strike
Let’s take a wild guess: you’re a writer because you love reading, and enjoy the process of creation that comes with itthem. You obviously have a few authors you look up to, or several favorite books. Try to rediscover these books and the reasons why you love them. Maybe it’s the author’s style, characters, or themes.
Surround yourself with creativity! You can take a break from literature and try to delve into other forms of art. Maybe you can find writing prompts in new places, like at a museum or concert. Then, let your brain do the rest of the work.
- Settle into a routine
Some aspiring writers fail because they aren’t disciplined enough to make writing a habit. It’s okay if you can only find time to write a few times a week, as long as you’re consistent and comfortable with your schedule.
Start working around the times that your productivity naturally strikes. If you’re a night owl, practicing with writing prompts first thing in the morning isn’t really the best course of action. Make writing a habit by setting up a convenient, natural routine.
- Don’t overthink it
Once again, stop trying to be a perfectionist! No one’s work is ever going to be perfect, even more so when you’re just writing a first draft. Freewriting and automatic writing are excellent writing prompts for just warming up your mind to write whatever you want. Don’t worry about grammar or making the prose perfect. You can always come back at a later time to fix it once you’ve gotten the meat of the story out.
- Switch perspectives
Changing your story’s perspective is another one of the most effective writing prompts. If you’re writing from just one character’s point of view, it can be frustrating to tell the story from such a limited angle. Change your narrator, main character, or try out omniscient writing.
You might not use these exercises in your final work, but it’s always good to view things from a different perspective.
- Ditch the timeline
When you’re writing a story chronologically, you might get stuck at a certain scene because you don’t know what to add next. If you’ve written an outline beforehand, you can try writing other parts of the story. Jump ahead to the last chapter, rework a previous scene, or whip up a quick prologue. This will make it easier to connect the dots later on.
- Optimize your workflow
One way to overcome writer’s block is to simply make writing a habit. But what if you run out of writing prompts, or you can’t find the energy to sit down and write?
It’s a possibility that you’re not being productive because your setup isn’t as organized as you would like it to be. Cleaning up your workspace, whether digital or traditional, is the first step.
After that, try changing up your workflow. Revise your process to become more visual or more utilitarian, whichever works for you. Make writing a habit by setting deadlines for yourself to keep yourself on track.
- Change your focus
Sometimes, your brain just doesn’t want to work for that specific project. If you have other pending drafts or manuscripts, try focusing on those in the meantime!
It’s also acceptable to take a break from writing, to work on other aspects of your life that need attention. You might have some personal things going on that are taking up a lot of your mental space, thus preventing you from writing effectively.
At the end of the day, trying to overcome writer’s block is a no-brainer if you truly have a passion for writing. You might just need a little extra push or some time off, but you’ll be able to bounce back in no time!
At Sixth Sense Publishing, we’d love to help you make writing a habit. Our writing community has tons of online resources, including personalized guidance from professionals. Join us to overcome writer’s block with support from fellow authors.