Honestly speaking, the past few weeks have not been good to me as a writer. I have been running low on ideas and have lacked the motivation and drive that I had previously. Once again, I began doubting my capabilities and have not been submitting outputs to my publishers. I felt like I was in a bad place when it came to writing, and besides the fact that I lacked the usual drive and motivation, I knew the main culprit to my dilemma – writer’s block.
“Writer’s block is a condition in which a skilled writer with the desire to write finds herself unable to write.”
It is considered the mortal enemy of writers, for it prevents one from producing work like he/she usually does. You may have tons of ideas in mind, but you are suddenly incapable of piecing together your thoughts and transferring them onto paper.
The causes of writer’s block could be a lot of things, but for me, the main cause that I see is being burned out and getting easily distracted. My attention span is practically like that of a goldfish — I get distracted by the simplest of things such as the sudden change of weather, the dimming of my phone’s screen while I’m writing, the notifications I get on social media and the music playing while I do something.
Another thing is I have so much on my plate right now, and although they are all manageable, my laziness and short attention span overpowers me, ultimately making me unable to really focus and get my job done as soon as possible. This then leads to me cramming and not having enough sleep, which I guess could be another cause to my predicament. Having a good amount of sleep, eating the right types of food and drinking a lot of water can help a person think properly and produce quality work. They help our brain function, and if you don’t get the right amount for each, then that could affect your performance.
Side note: I have mentioned that I have a lot on my plate right now, and it is obvious that there are instances wherein I would get burned out from all those activities. However, I am actually very thankful that I am busy and getting tired from work, because that means that I am being productive and making the most out of my life.
So how exactly does one get rid of writer’s block? According to Goins, Writer, there are 14 ways to overcome it:
- Go for a walk
- Eliminate distractions
- Do something to get your blood flowing
- Change your environment
- Read a book
- Listen to music
- Brew some coffee
- Create a routine — many famous writers have daily routines to summon their muse
- Spend time with someone who makes you feel good
- Call an old friend
- Brainstorm ideas in bullet points
- Read some inspiring quotes to get you started
For me, these are what I did to overcome the one month drought that plagued my writing. After clearing my thoughts and letting myself be alone for a while, I sat in my thinking chair and wrote down all the ideas that I had and narrowed them down to the ones that I am most interested to write about. I then made a schedule of the articles that I would be writing weekly. Next thing I did was I turned off my phone and kept it away from me to avoid the tempting nature of distraction. I knew that I had to be focused and disciplined, so I also turned off the Wi-Fi in my laptop and turned it on only when I needed to research something relating to the article that I was writing. Afterwards, I just let the ideas flow and wrote freely without minding the grammar as I finished my draft.
The fulfillment I get every time I finish writing a piece that I am happy and proud of is a feeling that I could not put into words — it awakens my soul. Going back to what I was saying earlier, having a healthy lifestyle affects how a person thinks and performs, which is why I devoted myself to making some healthier choices one step at a time; it’s hard, but the results are worth it. Time-management is also a factor needed to avoid writer’s block, and although it may seem like something scary and unattainable, I think that discipline and passion can help a person make better choices and learn how to properly manage time.
Writing is like a muscle — if you don’t exercise it regularly, then you can not get better at it, and you will have a hard time thinking of topics and ways on how you can effectively transfer your thoughts into words. Just write whenever and wherever you can, and don’t let your thoughts be trapped in your mind; let them out, and the words will just simply flow. Writer’s block is not an unbeatable foe but rather a force which you can easily conquer for as long as you know what to do, and as long as you have an intense passion running through your veins.