Have you ever had a day when you sit in front of a blank paper and keep wondering what to write, or are you in that phase where you feel stuck, and you cannot express what you want on paper and find it challenging to find appropriate words? This is known as writer’s block, and let me be honest with you, most writers struggle with this phenomenon. It is an overwhelming feeling of being stuck while writing and not writing anything new and moving forward.
Causes Why A Writer Experiences Writer’s Block
Research conducted by Yale University in 1970 by researchers Jerome Singer and Michael Barrios. They exclusively study a group of blocked professional writers from a variety of disciplines. The results were astonishing; they discovered that there are four main reasons why a writer might face writer’s block:
- The first and foremost being apathy, as specific rules and restrictions of writing, constrain the writers. The writer finds it difficult to find originality.
- The writers were often arrogant and would get disappointed or angry when others noticed and appreciated their work.
- These writers always thought that they weren’t good enough and were not confident in themselves, leading to anxiety while writing as this made it difficult for them to enjoy what they do.
- They didn’t want their creative work to be in comparison with others, resulting in their writing.
Freewriting is a writing technique developed in 1973 by Peter Elbow. It is a creative exercise similar to brainstorming but in written format. In this technique, you sit down for a determined amount of time for about ten to fifteen minutes and write without stopping till you reach a specific word count. This helps you think creatively and increase the flow of ideas, which also benefits you as you won’t censor any good ideas. In addition, it’s constructive for second language learners as it helps them increase their fluency.
Specific Writing Exercises That Will Help You Out From Your Writer’s Block Phase
- One of the exercises to improve your writing skill is picking out phrases from different magazines and incorporating them into one. This activity will benefit you as you develop a habit of collecting phases, and you can use them when needed.
- If you are trying to create characters, write about them. Using smilies will help you capture the true essence of the character, and it will also help you get a better picture of the character to the reader.
- One of the exercises one can practice daily is giving yourself a list of certain random words and then giving yourself ten minutes to write. It could be a story or a blog post; it could be anything to help you get more creative.
- One might want to explore different styles of writing. Writing in one style can be monotonous and sometimes dull. A fictional story writer can try writing a poem. One can also try writing the same story in different styles and see what works the best for them.
- Regardless of what you are writing, one must write regularly. It could be anything random, like how did you spend your day? What is your opinion on a song? How do you feel after a long walk on the beach? Anything like this will help you increase your fluency with writing and make you feel more comfortable.
- Try writing stories from the character’s perspective, like how would a character react if he would see a ghost? Or write a scene where an older man wants to visit his college back in his early 20s to do everything right, which he regrets.
- Try to find random words from a dictionary and using them in your storyline.
Feeling overwhelmed in the middle of writing can be more frustrating as it already becomes more challenging to write. This can happen because of a variety of reasons: anxiety, apathy, and many more. Writing is more than a job for writers; they incorporate their language skills, but they also have to bring a character alive and portray their imagination well. In the case of poets, they have to be very concise with what they write. Writer’s block can be a hurdle for a writer.
Hopefully, these tips help you find yourself at peace and help you continue writing without disturbing your mental peace, and help you be more creative.