If all that you did today was just breathe, then let me tell you this, you’re way ahead than half the population in our country.
Consider yourself to be blessed to have this wealthiest luxury in life.
Ever since this pandemic started, let’s say precisely a year ago, we have been inundated and exuberated with a sense of productivity in our system. This race was at its peak and no matter where we turned into, especially on all the social media, you could possibly see at least 1 post which gives you tips as to how to ace your productivity game. And today, a year had passed, and today as we look around, we can only hear the cries and hues of people who are badly affected by the second wave of the pandemic. It is in no way normal to expect someone to be efficient when we are in a constant battle of life and death. And that’s why in today’s post, I thought I would talk about something really important at this point of time
Tell me, have you ever sat down to write something, and nothing came up? You feel like you’re like in some sort of a rut and unable to explain as to what happened all of a sudden?
If you haven’t, it means that you don’t write much (or you have some magical power that no one else has.
In hindsight, if you have, then fret not, you’re not alone, you are just in a writer’s block. I can tell you that I have been dealing with this for the past couple of months and I am at a point now where I can talk confidently as to how I came out of it.
What is a Writer’s Block?
According to Wikipedia, Writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author is unable to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. This creative stall is not a result of commitment problems or the lack of writing skills. The condition ranges from difficulty in coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years. Writer's block is not solely measured by time passing without writing. It is measured by time passing without productivity in the task at hand.
What causes the Writer’s block?
In today’s day and age, writer’s block is quite common and there can be 3 main causes that causes this.
(i) Lack of inspiration
Of course, this tops my list, because of one of the main reason, and that is, you have stopped consuming content which doesn’t sum to the creation process. A simple methodology to understand is that, only if you consume meaningful content, you will get the inspiration to create something. But, am I telling you to overload yourself with content? Absolutely not, that’s not the point at all. The fact is you can grab lack of motivation within its roots and evade it, only when you consume something that inspires you from head to toe.
Fear in itself is a much more generic term. This can come in all forms. To be more specific, it can be fear of judgement from your peers or family, fear of creating new forms of content, fear of taking risks and so on. It’s more often the real cause, even when we think it isn’t much.
But not to worry, it isn’t the end of the world and you can come out of this situation, only when you acknowledge that you have a sense of “freaking out” inside of you
(iii) Compare! Compare! Compare!
Now, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you would find this term hanging around in the majority of my posts. I am not insinuating the fact that comparison is completely bad, but if you compare your progress and life with someone else’s, then that’s the biggest insult that you instill in yourself. It can have major aftereffects; a lot more than you can predict.
Now that you know, what causes the writer’s block, lets focus on some of the strategies that you can use to eliminate this
8 KICK ASS STRATEGIES TO ELIMINATE THE WRITER'S BLOCK
1. Make the movement:
Writing as a process is simply hard work. It takes a LOT of writing time, and that can get pretty frustrating and numb. Sometimes, freshening up your surroundings can spruce up your writing routine just enough to break through that creative block. This has helped me a lot before. During the 2020 quarantine, I would sit and write in the comfort of my couch. But now, I have a dedicated workspace where I just sit and write my heart out.
2. Talk it out
Sometimes writer’s block isn’t just your own limiting beliefs. It can be because of various other reasons. The reasons which we might not be able to recognize at a point of time. Hence in stages like this, it is essential that you open up to someone whom you trust the most and share with them your thoughts on the same. Sometimes, pouring your heart out or crying out can ease the pain that you are facing internally. Post which, it enables you to have a clear state of mind and then you’ll be good to get back to work after a while.
3. Eliminate Distractions
Begin building habits that help you eliminate distractions and stay focused. Start by creating an environment in which you’re less tempted to get preoccupied with something other than what you’re working on. This isn’t always easy to do. For one, many of us rely on an electronic device to do our work, but we also find our biggest distractions enabled by the use of the same. One of the best ways to combat this is to turn off your phone or put it on silent and move it away from you (so you can’t easily pick it up). When you have decided to write, fix a time slot say 2 hours and put your phone on the airplane mode and leave it across the hallway as such.
4. Focus on your audience:
Sometimes you freak out because you have this unending weight on your shoulders that reminds you that your blog or the book that you’re writing is gonna be read by millions of people. One of the pro tips to evade this, is to imagine just one single person in front of you. Imagine that you’re talking to this person and start writing in a way that intends to only one person. In that way, your stress eases out and your creative juices will start flowing way easily.
5. Set small goals
In the worst case, if you’re still unable to focus, start by making smaller goals. For example, start by setting a goal of being able to write 100 words a day or let’s say even 50 words. That’s not too tough right? The point is to push you hard enough to let you stay focused till you finish off that particular goal. Make this as a habit and once you’re in the deep zone, you can start making goals like writing 1500 words/day.
6. Consume content
Reading is a lifelong skill, and successful people never stop reading new books. Whether it's fiction or nonfiction, books help give you a greater perception of the world around you. They introduce you to new characters, new environments, new cultures, new ideologies, and new ideas, and might even help you build new skills. Similarly, reading regularly helps to build your vocabulary and ups your game by giving you greater communication skills. If you have watched interviews or read articles on the daily like The Huffington Post or The Guardian for example, it is estimated that successful people allot at least an hour in their lives to books. It can be as early as 4am in the morning or as late as 1 am (completely dependent on your lifestyle). Hence if you want to write well, be a mindful consumer of content
7. Take a look at your old work
The benefit of reading your old work is twice the benefit: re-reading will help you get a fresh start for a new era of productivity, and it’s also good for your self-esteem. Old writing is proof that you have written before and will again. Revisiting your work is a great way to overcome the writer’s block. And a great tip is you can repurpose your old content.
8. Be patient
Accept that some days will be less productive. Take a walk, enjoy a delicious meal, meditate or practice yoga. Nurturing yourself and aligning your thoughts can be just the rejuvenation you need. Additionally, sometimes the best way to climb out of a writing funk is to take yourself out of your own work and into someone else’s. Go for a walk or just immerse yourself in a good podcast. It’s important to remember that writer’s block, while miserable and incapacitating, is only a temporary condition.
So as much as the pandemic has crippled people’s creativity in lots of ways, just understand that this too shall pass and things will get back to normal. Be a bit more kind to yourself.
Until then, take care and Stay Safe!