Bukowski once said, “Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all,” so here I am today writing a post about writer’s block. Hey, if it’s good enough for Bukowski, it’s good enough for me.
In all seriousness, writer’s block is something we all deal with from time to time. Whether you’re struggling to come up with a solid idea for a new blog post or you just can’t find the right angle for your press release, writer’s block can be crippling, frustrating, depressing, and infuriating.
Now, there’s plenty of material out there that offers advice on overcoming writer’s block, and much of it is very helpful. But to me, the real key to overcoming writer’s block and even avoiding it altogether is to understand what causes writer’s block.
So, why do we suffer from writer’s block?
Too much pressure — Many of us work under tight deadlines. We have to get a press release out by a certain time, we have to get a blog post ready for publication on a certain date, etc. When you’re under a lot of pressure to write something quickly, it can be paralyzing. You can choke under the pressure and have a hard time getting any words to come out.
Stuck in a rut — Do you find yourself writing about the same stuff day in and day out? When you’re writing pretty much the same stuff all the time, your mind tends to shut off, causing you to go into autopilot mode. And when that happens, inspiration disappears. Then one day you find yourself banging your head against a wall trying to find something new to say or struggling to find a different spin for your story.
Trying to be perfect — As writers, we want every word to be perfect. Our inner editors never stop questioning our every keystroke, so it becomes challenging to get in a good writing flow because you’re trying too dang hard to get it just right. The quest for perfection will slow up your work and stifle idea generation.
Being overworked — Yes, one of the most common tips for overcoming writer’s block is to just write something…anything every day. The theory is that if you keep writing you’ll break through that wall. But at the same time, there’s also something to the idea that if you’re constantly writing and editing, you’re going to get worn out, and writer’s block will set in. Sometimes, a writer just needs a break.
These are just a few of the major causes of writer’s block that I’ve dealt with over the years. Now that I better understand them, I’ve been able to do a better job of avoiding writer’s block and overcoming it when I see it rearing its ugly head.
So, what are some of your best tips for beating writer’s block? Share them with us by commenting below.