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Defeating Writer's Block: Good Versus Evil

Updated on February 25, 2016
Cliche crumpling of the paper when ideas are gone.
Cliche crumpling of the paper when ideas are gone. | Source

Writer's Worst Fear!

There may be nothing more horrible for a writer then experiencing a period where their thoughts and mind feel completely empty. It's a time where the motivation and purpose fade away and you're left staring at a piece of blank paper or an empty Word document. Some writers fear garnering traffic to their pieces and some worry about the technical aspects, but at least those fears are based off of written content. During writer's block there are no written pieces to begin with.

Why do we fear this period so much?

Are we afraid that our writer's edge has been lost, are we fearful that our writing career may be closing, or are we afraid we have nothing left to write about? That fear is a collection of all those questions and when you're writing hundreds if not thousands of articles then eventually you'll fall into this slump.

The good news is that writer's block is usually temporary and eventually the spark, the creative energy, and your motivation as a writer will return. However, it will only return if you really are a writer especially with that motivation concept. Those of us who just write without purpose or without the passion to do so will not regain their motivation to restart.

It's tough to be motivated to do something when you lack the passion and energy to do it. This ideal goes for any job or career that you're a part of. It's very difficult staying motivated just to get up in the morning if you absolutely hate what you do.

Unfortunately not all of us have the luxury to have that dream, financially fulfilling job we desperately seek, but sometimes it's worth sacrificing some of your income for a job you love doing.

For a writer those elements of passion and energy are especially crucial because you're putting in so much of your mind into your writing that it can be absolutely draining without any passion. As long as you have those elements, passion, energy, and motivation, then you will recover during a slow period in your writing profession.

Take a break on the go
Take a break on the go | Source

What Can You Gain?

Is a slow period in your writing career necessarily a bad thing? What can you gain during this time and how can it make you a better writer?

One thing you'll gain is the ability to recover. Like athletes who have to put in the physical work to achieve something, writers put in the mental work to achieve similar goals. Both our mind and body need a rest from time to time, so if anything, during writer's block writers can take a nice, long break and rest their thoughts. In fact when you know you are experiencing such a period, then don't try to push yourself too much because it may have adverse effects.

Again think of a writer as an athlete who pushes themselves too far to the point where they can injure themselves and potentially delay or ruin their career. The mind cannot be pushed to the brink because it could be detrimental to not only your writing career but your everyday life. It's okay to take a break every once in a while though I realize that can be difficult for some.

Writers often have to meet specific deadlines or else they're out of a job, and it can be a lethal combination if your mind draws a blank and you need to finish multiple articles in under a day or so. Under such pressure you can't just take a break because it may technically and realistically be impossible to do so.

In those extreme cases even taking an hour to recharge could help a lot. If you don't even have an hour then as soon as you finish writing I would recommend taking that break. Breaks are necessary even if you aren't experiencing writer's block because they can give you time to explore new ideas or relax your thoughts. If you take frequent mental breaks, then it may actually help prevent you from experiencing cases of writer's block.


Illuminate you mind
Illuminate you mind | Source

Most Important Thing You'll Gain

The biggest thing you can gain during writer's block is a revitalization of ideas. A lot of the things we write about come from the environment around us and as a new writer you'd be surprised what hidden gems you can discover in the real world.

Places such as your work environment, the people you see, the people you meet, your outside surroundings, or even minor, subtle things you notice could provide a great deal of inspiration for written art.

The word inspiration is such a key element to writers that it's the most fundamental aspect that unites all writers no matter what their writing expertise is. What inspires you can lay a foundation that you can bounce topics off of and inspiration arrives from the simple.

When you're staring at a blank screen, completely lost take a break and go somewhere. You can take a walk, talk to someone, go get something to eat, go shopping, and anything else that you normally do. It's the smallest things you do as a writer that can help push you over the hump. As a writer, I'm amazed sometimes at the simplest things that inspires me.

One of the them were the things my preschool nieces asked and said. Some might think that listening to a couple of four year old children is nonsense, but you'd be surprised at what the results may be.

It doesn't take a lot to generate new thoughts and ideas for writers, but they have to know what to look for. There are always questions to be asked and answers to be found and no not all answers will be found through Google; isn't that a shock?

People ask unusual questions all the time but their questions are serious and require answers and as a writer you provide the answers. So next time you're stuck and can't find anything to write about or lack inspiration, go run some errands and keep your eyes, ears, and mind open because there's always something to be discovered.

Searching for a purpose
Searching for a purpose | Source

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What Else Can You Do?

If writer's block is really troubling you and starts impeding on your life, then you may have to step away from the keyboard/notebook for a while and try something else. This time that "something else" could mean finding another area of interest that can help sustain you.

A lot of writers write part time, as a hobby, or as a side job because it's very difficult to write a masterpiece that everyone will read/traffic. Writing is also very mentally strenuous and can be a very thankless profession, so it's no wonder many writers also have a main job they do during the week.

Other options include going back to school and taking up a class or classes you're really interested in. Those extra classes could be beneficial to anybody including writers because it's an extra skill you can add to your resume. The same applies if you have a main job/s because you'll learn new things and it'll only make your resume stronger.

It can also make your writing career much more successful. The more experience and skills you have as a writer, the greater the potential success. If you have a main job or learn new skills from college courses, then you'll be one step above your competition.

Given how competitive the writing field is any extra skills or achievements you accomplish can push you beyond your colleagues and land you that dream writing job. Writer's block isn't a means to an end rather it's the discovery of another means. In today's world the more you discover about yourself and the more you learn the better the opportunities you'll receive.

If you prefer not to take up college courses or have another job, then I'd suggest you consider volunteer work. Assuming you are financially stable then volunteering can be a great way to boost your writing career. There are a multitude of ideas you can gather from volunteer work during writer's block and if anything you're gaining more life experience.

So there's a lot you can and should do during a dry spell. I realize being stable is very important and sometimes you're going to have to do other things in order to sustain yourself, but these are only a positive because they'll aid you as a writer.

You must keep in mind that even if you're doing all these different things that you must get back to writing if that's what you want to do. Don't get sucked into secondary outlets because you may never return from them unless you discover new happiness and success from them.

If you only do them as a way to live, then you can't let them overtake what you originally loved to do if you're a writer. There has to be a way to get back on the saddle and restart your writing spark. This time, however, you'll have a boatload of life experiences and skills to push you further than ever before.

Your Thoughts!

Do You Fear Writer's Block?

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    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 2 years ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      Hi Krzysztof, great article and some good ideas here. Sometimes we forget that inspiration is all around us and spending a bit of time doing something different can open up all sorts of things that can be explored from the writer's perspective. My favourite is the old What If..? scenario, which you can apply to almost anything. Voted up.

    • mrod profile image

      Monique Rodriguez 2 years ago

      When I face the monster of writer's block, I look the other way and go pick up a book. Reading other people's writings usually rekindles my muse. Great article, and welcome to Hub pages.

    • Christy Maria profile image

      Christy Maria 2 years ago

      I seriously have writers block all the time and it is the most frustrating thing ever. Not even just with my blogs but with my lyrics as well! Thanks for the awesome article, it was very useful :)

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you all I hope everyone is able to breakthrough and persevere during those challenging times. It's absolutely frustrating but inspiration is indeed all around us. I'm also happy to be a part of Hub pages, and I wish everyone luck as well.

    • The Schreibfeder profile image

      The Schreibfeder 2 years ago

      Really useful hub. Thanks for writing it!

    • jlpark profile image

      Jacqui 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for a useful hub. I will refer back to it often, as even without writers block your ideas are useful to the creative process as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • B D Cavet profile image

      B D Cavet 2 years ago

      The greatest thing about writers block to me is when it is over. It's refreshing to suddenly have new ideas to explore.

    • tlcs profile image

      Trudy Cooper 2 years ago from Hampshire, UK

      I think we have all had this at some time. Things are quite serious when you write a hub about it though! I did, but I am back on track now just need to find the time to be able to read others hubs and write my own! Your be fine, walk away for a while make a cup a tea, think outside of the box. Good luck

    • Joyette  Fabien profile image

      Joyette Fabien 2 years ago from Dominica

      Very insightful. I agree with you; writer's block is a signal that you need to take a pause, let the brain rest. It's really useful because when you come back to the task you have new and better ideas !

    • Prabhjot Saini profile image

      Prabhjot 2 years ago from Delhi, India

      Interesting hub.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thanks again and yes the best part is having a whole new collection of ideas.

    • Laura335 profile image

      Laura Smith 2 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      This is very true. I used to have writer's block all the time, but it has really subsided over the years. When I find it coming on, I switch to a different type of writing, and that keeps me going without overworking me. We forget that we're not machines, and we can short out if we overwork ourselves. It's just that when we're on a roll, we feel like we have to pound it out as hard and as fast as we can. Then, we panic when we run out of juice. Great Hub!

    • Shannonrb profile image

      Shannonrb 2 years ago

      Great post!

      I think this is an excellent topic to write about because it's a struggle we all can relate to as writers.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Some great tips here for all writers. I find when I'm stressed and have too many things happening in my life I get writer's block and it isn't until that stress is gone that I can write freely again. Then again, who doesn't have stress in their lives? I guess something like writer's block happens in many professions. Welcome to hubpages and thanks for a great hub. Voted up, useful and shared.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I appreciate it. I try to experiment with other writing types as well and stress is a common occurrence to me. It's not easy writing under those conditions but many times we have no choice. Thank you for the welcome.

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L. Cronkite 2 years ago from Maine

      Very nice hub with excellent information. Writer's block is a reality for all writers from time to time. You gave some valuable advise for working through that dreaded time - thank you!

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Well done, Chriswillman90, great suggestions. I love the athlete metaphor. It offers a fresh, new way to look at how to frame writer's block and how to approach it. It's a widely covered subject and yours includes some original points. I did a poem hub on the subject (listed above, yeaay!) and yours is much more comprehensive. Good job, voted up and useful.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub. I've been there and done that before. I believe I'm going through it again, since I lost my mother almost a year ago and haven't been able to write much--except in July, before I've gotten Shingles. And that've put a damper onto my writing efforts. I've been trying to meditate to get new ideas, while I've been here and editing my mss in the meantime to get them published and resubmitted to agents next month.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I try to share my thoughts as best as possible but I'm also open to others suggestions. I'm thankful that some of points are of use. Thank you so much.

      I'm so sorry for your loss I pray everything works out for you and good luck with everything.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Chris. Right now, I'm having a blank mind. I hope your tips will help me out.

    • Niko Linni profile image

      Niko Linni 2 years ago from Long Beach, California

      Very interesting how you take something that usually has a negative connotation to it and give it a sort of positive spin.

    • Duane Townsend profile image

      Duane Townsend 2 years ago from Detroit

      One thing that helps me with writers block is crafting well worded, thoughtful social media posts or comments, about a paragraph or so. That seems to keep the writing gears lubed until the spark for my own work returns.

    • stargazer90 profile image

      stargazer90 2 years ago

      great article!very informative!

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I always try to find the positives somewhere no matter how bleak. I never thought about inspiration through social media comments so I'll try that thanks.

      Thanks a bunch everyone.

    • greeneyedblondie profile image

      greeneyedblondie 2 years ago

      The biggest fear I have about writer's block is that I have no ideas left. Since I want to be a writer it can be scary! I do make it through eventually though.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I get that too but not only that I want to be able to write about things people want to read, which is very difficult sometimes.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Good Hub. Writer's block is sometimes just a sign that we need a little R&R.

      If I need an idea, I sometimes just pull a book off the shelf, open it randomly, and read a page. That almost always gives me an idea.

      Voted up!

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Absolutely books are filled with inspiration and rest helps a lot by keeping our mind calm. Thank you.

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 2 years ago

      I read others hubs.... Enjoyed this one

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you I'm glad you did.

    • melissae1963 profile image

      Melissa Reese Etheridge 23 months ago from Tennessee, United States

      You have made some interesting points regarding why we sometimes feel like we can't write. It is often immobilizing.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 23 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you, it can definitely get frustrating at times when you want to produce quality writing but can't seem to focus your energy on a topic.

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