Writer’s block is something almost every writer can attest to getting a taste of in their life as a writer. In fact, the Authors Guild conducted a study and found that 63% of professional writers have gone through writer’s block at different points in their life.
In this article, I will be looking at the causes of writer’s block and 4 ways to overcome writer’s block.
What are the causes of writer's block?
There are multiple causes of writer’s block, here are 3 of them:
Lack of motivation: When you're not motivated, it's hard to find the energy and inspiration to write. Lack of motivation can be caused by burnout, self-doubt, or feeling overwhelmed by the writing process. Without motivation, it's easy to get stuck and lose focus, which will inevitably lead to writer's block.
Distractions: Nowadays, there are countless agents of distraction, and without even knowing, you lose focus and subsequently, interest in what you are writing, and one day, you realize you just can’t go on writing that piece anymore.
Perfectionism: The National Center for Biotechnology Information took a survey and they found that writers who experienced writer’s block were those who likely exhibit perfectionist tendencies. The survey involved 208 writers and the results revealed that those who reported experiencing writer’s block were more likely to be self-critical, set excessively high standards for themselves, and be overly concerned with meeting those standards—perfectionists.
4 ways to get your creative juices flowing and overcome writer's block
1. Rewrite the outline/plot of your work
Rewriting the plot or outline of your book, or any other writing piece you're working on, can provide you with a fresh perspective and a clear roadmap for your writing. By reassessing and revising your plan, you can identify areas that are causing your writer's block, come up with new ideas to move forward and regain a sense of control and direction. It can also help reduce feelings of anxiety and overwhelm and, overall, get you back on track, making it easier to make progress.
2. Read books/written pieces similar to yours
In a survey conducted by The Write Life on 238 writers, reading was found to be one of the most popular strategies for overcoming writer’s block among professional writers with 41% admitting that it was their go-to method to beat writer’s block.
When you take the time to go through pieces like yours, or like what you have in mind, it can be a great source of inspiration and can act as that push you need to take action on your own work and move forward, effectively beating writer’s block.
3. Write in a different location
Sometimes, it’s your surroundings that are inhibiting you and your creativity. A change of environment has the potential to awaken those creative juices you thought were dead and give you the motivation to go on and start or finish your book, effectively beating writer’s block.
In fact, Journal Frontiers in Psychology published a study in 2014 that revealed that changing your physical environment can help increase creativity and fight writer’s block. 36 participants were surveyed, and the results showed that those who wrote in new environments produced more creative and authentic writing compared to those that wrote in the same old environment.
4. Find a writing group or accountability partner
Accountability partners can help people accomplish their goals effectively, according to many studies.
In fact, a study by the American Society of Training and Development discovered that people have a 65% chance of completing a goal if they commit to someone else, compared to just a 10% chance if they keep the goal to themselves.
Whether you join a writing group or find an accountability partner, the key is to find someone who is supportive, reliable and shares your goals and interests so that you gradually overcome writer’s block. This can help you stay on track, stay inspired, and ultimately beat writer's block.
A study published by the Journal of Creative Behavior found that the use of Cognitive Behavioral techniques like setting goals for yourself and breaking them down into smaller tasks can help you beat writer’s block. This is where using a good task management tool can come in handy. Drogo is one of these task management tools that can help you streamline your workflow, divide the things you have to do into smaller tasks and spur you to take action on your goals without making you feel overwhelmed.