“Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard either emotionally or imaginatively is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing to do is shovel shit from a sitting position.”
You all must have found yourself in a place where the prospect of writing becomes terrifying; you simply cannot think of anything to write about or how to start; it’s not that you don’t have anything to say; after all, what are we, as humans, if not storytellers? Writer’s block is more about attempting and failing to fit ourselves into a mold that we have constructed for ourselves. But still, it is real and emotionally draining, but before we get to its solutions, let’s get to some of the reasons why one experiences it. Though there are many explanations, and they vary from person to person, we’ll focus on the most prevalent ones:
We get satisfied with nothing we write when we compare ourselves to others and there’s always this constant itch to fit in. Just know that there will always be people doing better, the trick is to not look into their works and set a standard for yourself, but to know that every good thing takes time and every one is unique in his/her approach, every story is different, and every storyteller unique in his/her way. Make mistakes, and keep trying.
Self-doubt stems from comparisons, we sit there comparing ourselves to other writers and never start, worrying about how good they write and if we could accomplish that level. Truth is, there is no level, but just the one we draw in our head. We would never realize how good we are, or how good we can make ourselves until we put pen to paper and start writing.
When extrinsic factors like praise or validation drive someone to write, they are likely to become demotivated when their efforts go unappreciated or unnoticed and they might lose the desire to write.
The idea of writing sometimes gets daunting because of the fear of making mistakes, being judged, or not fitting in a world where everyone writes so well.
•Persistence and procrastination:
If any of the aforementioned issues persist for an extended period, it becomes difficult to write as we wish; as a result, we continue to postpone, and the longer we do so, the deeper we sink into writer’s block.
How do we overcome writer’s block?
There is no single answer or solution to it; you must keep trying until you find something that works for you. Below are some suggestions that might be useful:
•Stop looking at other people’s work:
If you’re having trouble writing and looking at other people’s work isn’t helping, but only making it worse, know that it’s time to stop.
•Take a break:
If you still can’t write after numerous attempts, take a break and do things you enjoy, get back to any of your hobbies, or do nothing at all and sit in your favorite spot and think about things, but also try not to make yourself habitual of your comfort zone, things wouldn’t just happen, you have to try.
•Get some exposure:
Get out there and renew your mind, it’s a big world out there, you never know what can inspire you.
you don’t have to be perfect every time, you don’t always have to write things that make sense, be illogical, and rant about absolutely nothing and everything, don’t re-read, just keep going on. It’s okay to not make sense sometimes.
•Read storybooks or novels:
Read your favorite novel or start a new one; you never know which line will inspire you to write or provide you with the inspiration or the idea you’ve been waiting for.
Going over your previous write-ups might merely serve as a reminder, and seeing how good you used to write might make you sad, so stop doing it.
•Believe in the process:
Be patient and believe in the process, as well as in yourself; just keep trying and you’ll be fine. And know that sometimes you have to find your inspiration, you can’t just sit there and wait for it to come to you.
It’s fine to procrastinate once or twice, but not regularly; you must get up and try. And maybe stop questioning your abilities.
Finally, all you have to do to write is write; it doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to make sense; all you have to do is pick up your pen and write one word, then another, and then another and so on. And like Charles Bukowski said,