Writer’s Block: Exploring the Cause and the Cure
Writer’s block—wanting to write and not writing—is a persistent problem that every writer (yes, every writer, even Stephen King) deals with. At its simplest, it manifests as a lack of ideas. What do I write about? At its most pernicious, writer’s block can convince you that you lack what it takes to be a writer. We’re here to tell you: that’s simply not true.
Writer’s block is certainly a tough problem to solve. If we all knew how to get rid of writer’s block, the world would be overflowing with books, completed effortlessly and ahead of schedule.
Nonetheless, writer’s block doesn’t have to be chronic, or debilitating. In this article, we’ll look deeply into what causes writer’s block, and describe how to overcome writer’s block—in whatever way it might be manifesting in your writing. But first, what is writer’s block?
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Every writer experiences different roadblocks on their writing journey. Some of those roadblocks are external: rejections from literary journals, disagreements with book publishers, a lack of time and resources, and the like.
However, far more of those roadblocks are internal: self-doubt, perfectionism, low motivation, etc. The internal roadblocks we face around our writing practice are what cause writer’s block.
In writer’s block, something internal dams the flow of creativity. Our internal worlds shape how we access our creativity, so getting rid of writer’s block means working through whatever psychological barriers are inhibiting us.
The secret to a successful writing habit is writing every day, without inhibition or prescriptive judgments. So, to overcome writer’s block, we need to work towards a productive writing mentality.
Build a solid routine
Author and dancer Twyla Tharp once wrote, “Creativity is a habit.” This might seem counterintuitive to some — isn’t creativity something that naturally ebbs and flows, not something you can schedule? But the truth is, if you only write when you “feel creative”, you’re bound to get stuck in a rut. One of the best ways to push through is by writing on a regular schedule.
You may already have a routine of sorts, but if you’re experiencing writer’s block, it’s time to switch things up. Figure out the days and times that really work best for you — if you feel most productive in the mornings, it could be worth waking up half an hour earlier to squeeze in some writing. Or if you prefer low-pressure writing sessions, you could try Sunday afternoons when you have no other commitments.
Whichever days and times you choose, be consistent. The only way to build a reliable routine is to actually stick to your chosen sessions! Give it at least 3-4 weeks and you’ll start seeing real progress.
Write it badly at first
“Blocks often occur because writers put a lot of pressure on themselves to sound ‘right’ the first time. A good way to loosen up and have fun again in a draft is to give yourself permission to write imperfectly.”
Writers often spend hours looking for the perfect phrasing to illustrate a concept. You can avoid this fruitless (and block-engendering) endeavor by putting, “In other words…” and simply writing what you’re thinking, whether it’s eloquent or not. You can then come back and refine it later by doing a CTRL+F search for “in other words.”
And if you’re truly paralyzed, you might consider the extreme solution of The Most Dangerous Writing App. Just set up a timed writing session, and if you stop typing for more than a few seconds, all your text will disappear. Needless to say, this app lives up to its name — but if you’re desperate to stop overthinking everything you write, it’s sure to get the job done!
How to get over writer’s block with AI
Not yet familiar with AI writing? It’s about time. Flowrite turns short bullet points into full-fledged emails and messages in seconds. And it can also help you to get rid of writer’s block! When you are completely stuck with an email or message, it will instantly give you an idea of what the final text should look like without you even typing the bullet points. See it how it worked for reaching out to a favourite podcast host of mine.
This is possible thanks to our templates. When we talk about templates, we don’t mean anything prewritten. Instead, they guide the AI to generate the type of text you wish. If you already have know what you want to say, but struggle with putting into writing, here’s what to do. Just jot down a couple of sentences as instructions, select a template for the type of email or message you are about to send, and watch our AI writer do its magic.
We hope that this blog post was able to help you to find out how to solve writer’s block. If it feels like it’s impossible to get around it, just remember that you are not alone. People throughout the time have managed to get over the block and found their words again.