The Myth That Is Writers Block

Yes, I called writers block a myth. Why? It doesn’t exist. Not in the sense of it being some magical, unstoppable force that keeps writers from being productive.

What IS going on then when a writer sits down to write and can’t seem to get a single word down on paper? It’s usually one of several things we all experience at one time or another.

FEAR

bb5f5-clock2balarm2bclockThis happens to me every time I start a new series or have to end a series. Doubts of “will it be good enough?” or “what if this fails miserably?” stall out my desire to write. I’ve gotten a little better about this over the years, but it’s still a tough thing for me.

How do I combat this? Deadlines. I don’t have time for self-doubt if I’ve already set up blog tours or paid for promotions on a certain date, or even just publicly announced the release date. Deadlines get me moving like nothing else.

BURN OUT

Beach SceneDoes the well of inspiration feel like it’s dried up? It probably has, but not in the form of writers block. Creative work isn’t easy. You need a break every once in a while. If you’ve been pushing and pushing, yeah it will definitely tax your mind until it simply refuses to produce anything of quality.

Best way to combat this one? TAKE A BREAK! Go read a book or watch a movie. Get out of the house and go for a walk. Get some fro-yo. Do anything BUT write for a while. A day. A week. A month. Whatever it takes to get your head space cleared out and ready to be creative again.

OVERLOADED

Most writers have more than writing to worry about. They’ve got bills, family, day jobs, health issues, etc. Stress is not conducive to creativity. It’s draining. I only work part time right now, but my husband also loves writing but has been super stressed out at work lately and he can attest to the fact that a lot of days he just doesn’t have the mental energy to write in the evenings. It happens.

While it’s impossible to completely clear away all your stress, taking some time for yourself can help. Yoga, meditation, horseback riding, whatever it is that relaxes you. Give yourself time to get away from everything. Maybe this just isn’t a time of your life where writing fits in. While we were selling our house and buying our new one, I didn’t write for six months. There wasn’t any time and my head just wasn’t in it. That’s okay.

OUT OF PRACTICE

Open Blue BookWriting is a skill, but so is creativity. You have to exercise that part of your mind by doing it regularly. There have been studies about how your brain can be trained to be creative at certain times based on routine.

What does that mean? Write often and if possible, write on a routine basis so your brain power is ready to be focused toward creating at a certain time. If that’s not feasible for your life, try a pre-writing routine to get yourself ready, like deep breathing exercises and stretches prior to a yoga class.

While I don’t believe in writers block, there are certainly factors of life that can make writing difficult. It IS possible to work around these problems and get back to creating.

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