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How Do You Deal with Writer's Block?

Updated on March 10, 2020
Kyler J Falk profile image

Whenever I experience writer's block I take immediate action, and never let it set in for long.

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For those of you more pedantic individuals and some who may not know already, Wikipedia defines writer's block as, "... a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. ... The condition ranges from difficulty in coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years." Yet I just don't feel that this captures the true pain of writer's block, and my definition will seem a bit less calloused.

The way I define writer's block is a loss of will, passion, and direction, as if I had been surviving in the forest for years and the stress of still not finding my way out suddenly made me want to sit down on a stump, shut down, then slump over onto the ground and wait for the sweet release of death. It isn't some sort of background feeling as if I am only unable to come up with original ideas or produce further works, the feeling is right at the forefront of my perceptions and blares over the noise of daily life. Such a distracting mentality must be eliminated as soon as possible, yes?

I'd say so, and my methods for overcoming the different forms of writer's block have been said to be quite useful when adopted by others.

How would you rate the level of stress that experiencing writer's block causes you?

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The Quick and Easy

Rarely is there a simple answer to big problems, and the same holds true for writer's block, but I'm making this concise little section for those of you who dislike or otherwise struggle reading in-depth articles; I feel you guys, because I struggle to read verbose articles myself and I wish more writers would chop up the meat of their article and provide it in a convenient word-stew right after their introduction. So if you're the type to like it quick and easy, here you go. Chopping up the meat of my article, putting it all together into the figurative stew pot, and serving it to you.

The key to overcoming writer's block is to reignite your passions by immersing yourself in something new, and learn more about the ever-increasing wow! By which I mean learn and experience something new, whether it be something as simple as a new restaurant or approaching a total stranger to learn about their life, you'd be amazed what little triggers can do in the big scheme of overcoming your writer's block. Now I know this seems too simple, and it probably is for most, but for those of us who like it short and sweet it will more than suffice so long as the advice is put into practice.

Reignite your passions by immersing yourself in something new, and learn more about the ever-increasing wow!

If you are looking for a more in-depth explanation and pedantic scrutiny of how to overcome writer's block then rest assured I am going to attempt to give you more than your plate can hold. Writer's block is a severe condition for me, haunting would be exact, as when I cannot create then I feel hopeless and lost within the world. Such serious symptoms stemming from writer's block have led me to develop mechanisms to not only eliminate it but to avoid it altogether. My goal is to share this with you and get your tools in return without judgement on either side as to the correctness of the tools we use. We all know, just because a tool works for you does not mean it will work for the next individual.

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How often do you experience writer's block?

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Taking Action Against Inaction

The title of this section says it all, if you want to solve your problems with writer's block then first you must take action against your inaction. That is a confusing statement, however, because the condition itself is what is causing you to be inactive to begin with! This oxymoron tends to muddle the solutions to writer's block, but I feel I have mostly solved the oxymoron by avoiding writing altogether. "Avoid writing altogether!?!?!" you may be asking in bewilderment, and yes, I say if you are experiencing writer's block then it is time to step away from writing for a bit, or even for a while. Does this mean to stop thinking about writing? No, and I'd never expect you to because as I said writer's block tends to haunt me when it is occurring, but I know most writers rarely solve their block by writing more.

Avoid writing altogether!

Step one in attempting to solve writer's block, for me personally, is finding interesting works of others' and giving them a good once-over. Soapboxie tends to be the initial launching point for getting my creative juices flowing again, though more often than not I find it getting my adrenaline going more so than my ability to create new works. I go out of my way to read articles that do not align with my own views and opinions, then I like to discuss with the authors as to how they came to their conclusions, and if I am lucky then I will stumble upon something that will see me hitting the notepad and starting a new set of my own writings to counter or support my newfound perspective; there is nothing quite like experiencing the world through someone else's eyes. This rarely works one-hundred percent, and more often I am forced to turn to reading fictional adventures.

There is nothing quite like experiencing the world through someone else's eyes!

If you have not already, I highly advise you go check out, delve into, and possibly even write for the SCP Foundation. The Foundation, as regulars like to call it, is an all-immersive fictional experience created by a plethora of different writers and maintained by a community of professionals. From light-hearted fantasy, to all-out horror, there is something for everyone there; even I have created some of my own SCP files because of how inspirational I find the Foundation to be. Creativity never seems to be lacking at the Foundation, and I assure you that you can find something to inspire your own creative works. My personal favorite is SCP-093, and all of its associated tests and tales.

If the Foundation lets me down, however, I will hop on over to one of my "Warhammer 40k" books and dive into an epic, gruesome adventure with the Adeptus Astartes. Going on a fictional journey through a book such as Helsreach might just have you succumbing to the urge to take part in "the hobby" lesser known as 40k, and sooner than you realize it you'll be hailing the emperor right along with us. I advise Helsreach as the place you pick up in the timeline as a newbie because of how powerful and exciting it is to experience the battles between The Black Templar squadron led by Reclusiarch Grimaldus, and the xenos threat of the orks against Armageddon. It really is an emotional roller coaster from start to finish, and if it doesn't suck you in then I'd be at a loss for words.

Go on an amazing, new fictional adventure!

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Oh so rarely does immersing in others' fictional endeavors fail me, but that doesn't change the fact that they do let me down sometimes; I've nearly found myself at a loss for what to try next and wanting to give up and succumb to writer's block depression. As of now I have only one more, near-fail-safe activity to take part in, and it is probably the most stressful but rewarding of the suggestions I have listed here. Go out into the world and meet some new people, and make it a focus to analyze every bit of their dispositions. It could be a short walk to the park, a stroll through the mall, or plopping your behind on a stool at the bar; it doesn't matter in which medium you choose to meet new people only that you actually make the effort to do so.

Go out into the world and meet some new people!

In an effort to get your creative juices flowing through meeting others it is imperative that you look at the world much like you would a play or other work of fiction. Take on a role you wouldn't normally, you could even tell the other person(s) that you are doing so and make somewhat of a game out of it. For example, I like to take on a sort of Casanova, "Don Juan" blend when I interact with people, turning everything into a form of seduction as spoken about within the book, The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene. When I take on the role of seducer, it not only opens me up to new experiences but it opens me up to facets of myself that can't often be explored without being like an actor. Acting in such a way gets me into the mindset of someone else, and thus I see the world through a whole new set of poetically-inclined eyes. Beauty, passion, ambition... it all returns in a rush and suddenly I have the entire world at my finger tips once more and I can hit the keyboard for some inspired writing.

See the world through a new set of poetically-inclined eyes!

How long does your writer's block usually last?

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So, What's Your Method?

I know my methods can't work for every individual, and every individual has their own methods for combating writer's block and all the emotions that come with it. I'm always seeking more and more information, especially as it concerns writer's block but rather than reading it in an article or on a blog somewhere I like to hear it straight from the horse's mouth. If you would be so kind as to go in the comment section and tell me how it is you overcome writer's block it would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps in doing so you will help solve my, or another individual's problem with surpassing the limitations of writer's block. I'm currently coming out of a bout of it as I type this, and subsequently shaking the rust off once more.

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    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      2 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      That is great to hear, Margaret, and I hope you do go check out the Foundation! Perhaps you'll even decide to take part in the ongoing all-immersive fictional adventures there for yourself, they are always looking for high quality writers if you can get past their convoluted systems and rules!

    • Margaret Pan profile image

      Margaret Pan 

      2 weeks ago from Athens

      Having struggled with writer's block in the past, I find your article very useful! In my case, avoiding writing for a while has indeed helped a lot. I wasn't aware of the CSP Foundation- I'll definitely check it out.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      2 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      Thank you, Mitara, I envy people who have never experienced writer's block or only experience it mildly. It is like everything becomes featureless, but even in the depths of writer's block there is inspiration sometimes. As you say, it often helps to just expand upon everything you are feeling.

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      2 weeks ago from South Africa

      Nice article

      I would say for myself, during sleepless nights, thoughts and ideas come to mind and I expand on it. Haven't experienced it, but I can't speak on future writes. If I do, I shall definitely search for this article.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      2 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      It is good that you don't often suffer from writer's block, Pamela, it isn't a very nice feeling for most. I'm happy to hear you'll be checking out the SCP Foundation, it can be confusing to navigate but I'm sure there are some files or tales that will suck you in if you give it a chance!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      I am not familiar with the SCP Foundation but it sounds like it is interesting. I am going to check it out. I enjoyed your article with your suggestions.

      I seldom suffer from writer's block. I don't always know what I am going to write about next but something always happens to give me an idea.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      2 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      I have poured so much time into the SCP Foundation that the amount of time actually spent immersing myself in all they have to offer may actually equate to over a year. Thanks for reading, Meg!

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      2 weeks ago from Northern Ireland

      Enjoyed reading this. I can't say I suffer from writer's block, at least at present, as I am not writing fiction often enough to be troubled by it. You have some very creative ideas on how to overcome it. I went to look at that SCP but had to click away quickly - it looks like something I could spend hours on!

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      2 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      @T: You definitely fall on the lower end of the spectrum as far as how "writer's block" affects you, but I tend to agree that the feeling can be broken down to that concise phrase, "A lack of inspiration" a lot of the time. Thank you for your input!

      @ John: I had never actually thought about using others' suggestions as a way to glean some inspiration, though I have done so elsewhere in the past just as a game to play with my regular followers. My favorite is when each person writes a stanza in a predetermined order and the flow of it is determined by the next writer in line. Thank you for your input!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      You make some great suggestions for overcoming writer’s block this in-depth article, Kyler. Myself, I often resort to going through my books and finding a title that resonates with me and using that as inspiration to write a poem, story, or article. I actually have a series here called “Off the Shelf” that was written that way. Other times I may go through my CDs and listen to songs in the hope it may motivate my muse.

      Going outdoors, or someplace different with pen and notebook sometimes helps...just that change of scenery is enough to kick start my writing. A picture prompt or other form of writing challenge issued by my fellow hubbers also works, and with my “Poems from the Porch” I actually ask for suggestions of poems people would like me to write.

      If all else fails I, do as you have done here, and write about writer’s block and how to overcome it.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 weeks ago from now on

      Well I don’t know about this. I think writer’s block is simply a description of someone who isn’t inspired at the moment to write about anything.

      I don’t write for hubpages any more but when I did write anything it was because I was inspired by a thought or reason to write and was compelled to write about whatever that was. It was almost like I didn’t have a choice but had to do it!

      Most of the time I wasn’t compelled To write by anything which I guess you would call writer’s block. To me that was just life as usual.

      Maybe that’s the answer! I mean if you are suffering from writer’s block maybe it’s because you are trying to force something that simply isn’t the natural way our brain, emotions, psyche works!

      Or maybe I’m just not called to be a writer.

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