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Could It Be Writers Block? Or Discouragement?

Updated on October 21, 2016
Kryssy OSullivan profile image

Kryssy is a stay-at-home wife, a mother of two boys, and is happily enjoying every second of her chaotic life.

When the words begin to flow, it can be such an amazing feeling. Eventually, you are thinking to yourself, "I'm on a roll! This is good!". But, eventually we become drained. Or discouraged. At other times, distracted. This may stem from many different reasons; sources. It's normal, and it happens to the best of us. And to solve these problems can vary from person to person.

It may be the feeling of frustration, or the feeling of being irritated. And before you realize it, that moment is setting in...

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Writers Block

We all have been there, or will get there. It is inevitable.

We sit down, we pull out our pen and paper, or our laptops, our computers... Our "weapons of choice". (Hey, writing can be powerful. What may be uninspiring to one, is inspiring to another. Writing is a powerful piece of work!) And as we proceed to ready our thoughts to flow, the supply to that faucet just seems to be shut off.

Great. Just great.
Nothing is coming to mind. Nothing is coming out. And you are sitting there. Empty.

Or there are just other moments in time when we stop everything, and experience this; when we realize this moment when writers block kicks in. Such as when we first get up in the morning, and we just do not feel like writing today. Or maybe when we discover we have a moment of time during the day to proceed with your work, or to start something new.

Whichever way we discover writers block, we just may realize when that moment hits. For some people, this can be unpleasant. For others, this may be the perfect time for a vacation. Or just a good ol' break.

The best way that a writer can look at writers block is by thinking of it as a slowdown. Not all hope is lost, and your career is not over. This can last from a few days, up until a few dreaded years. And even if it does last for several years, again, not all hope is lost. You may want to come back and try again, from time to time. If you still find this flow shut off, don't grow upset. Don't become angry at yourself, or anyone. It's okay. Just take some time and try again later. The last thing you want to do is force it.

As time progresses and the writers block continues, you may want to think about what could be causing your writers block. It could range from depression, to distractions, or from financial issues, or a change in your life. It could even be that the piece you planned to work on, or started on, just isn't right for you. There can be a variety of problems that lead to writers block. Whatever it may be, try not to over think what the problem is. You may also want to keep in mind from time to time, that nothing is wrong with you. You're okay. You're fine. All writers go through this situation, and it will get better.

Solving your writers block may vary though, It depends on if it is one situation, a few, or many. The process of elimination could help.

If you're feeling depressed, take time to heal. Don't force it upon yourself to sit down and write. Unless you find you are able to channel your depression in to writing, and are able to heal in that sort of way. Not everyone is able to do this, or do so easily. Comparing yourself to others could be another way for a person to sink deeper in to depression. We all are human, and can only do so much in our lives. Taking time to heal is much more important than forcing yourself to write, and forcing yourself to do something you may not want to do.
(Also, if you are depressed, and you feel like harming yourself, or if you are feeling alone, don't be afraid to talk to someone. Professionals can help you, and should not judge you. They should only help you through, so you can start a healing process. And yes, a friend could help, but most of us find that talking to a friend causes us to sort of clam up and not be able to fully vent, therefore chancing that we go deeper in to depression, and possibly isolating ourselves.)

If you find that you have too many distractions, or changes in your life, take time to solve this. Many situations can be considered as a distraction. Usually a distraction requires our attention.
Taking time away from writing, and sorting your priorities, could be one of the best way to solve writers block. It won't hurt your writing to take time away to solve what ever problem is causing your writers block.
Although if it happens to be a deadline, take a deep breath and don't rush. Rushing can only make things worse, and we all know that. Go at a pace that is not too fast, as you will only cause errors and more problems. Just breathe. Rushing causes discouragement. And becoming discouraged is a whole other problem, in the world of being a writer...

Writers block... Except, hopefully, your writers block doesn't end up like Mort (Johnny Depp) here... That would be bad. Really bad. ;)
Writers block... Except, hopefully, your writers block doesn't end up like Mort (Johnny Depp) here... That would be bad. Really bad. ;) | Source

The Horrible Feeling of Discouragement

Discouragement is often defined as a loss of confidence, or enthusiasm.

This can be a whole other level from writers block. In fact, it can destroy your career. Or, well, just about any career.

You may find yourself in a moment where you have spent hours on writing a piece, and the next day or so, you find a message that rejects your work. Or it will say you have written it very poorly, that it has errors, or just a whole mess of problems... This can cause a writer anger, and discouragement. If you find yourself cursing in your head (or out loud), this may be a sign of discouragement beginning.
Believe it or not, it is not always your fault. Even if you're writing for a client. You know you can't read the mind of your client. You can really only assume, and hope for the best. Especially if the client has a request that sounds discreet, and there exists a policy where you cannot ask them for more information, more details, leaving you lost and confused while knowing this needs to be done.
Yes, there are places that have this policy, and others that do not. Places that have this policy can making writing much more difficult, and much more discouraging. It's as if those people have forgotten that the person writing, working their fingers off, trying their best to perform under a guessing game, is not only a human being. It's as if they expect us to act as a sort of automatic computer program that spits out a piece of work for them magically, and perfectly.

This, can be one of the most discouraging moments among writers. Other moments when we become discouraged can come from other people, telling us comments that are negative, criticizing, or just anything that we can find as unhelpful to our work.
At other times, it just is a voice in the back of our heads, clouding out our thoughts and putting us down.

Or maybe, it's just both.

If you find yourself doubting, questioning if what you're doing is right, or if it is even good enough, never be afraid to take a break. This can save you a lot of mental despair. Otherwise, you risk putting yourself in deeper, to a dark abyss of emptiness. Some may find that this could lead to depression. Before you know it, you will have abandoned your work, finding that not all is going well for your writing career and that it's a long way to swim to the surface.
At some point, if you let this continue, some people may need to seek professional help. Not everyone is able to get out of this alone, or with the help of someone close.

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What Can You Do Now?

If you find yourself having a problem with writing, no matter what it is you are writing, taking a break is the best that you can do for yourself. Never force yourself to carry on with writing.
Although, if you do have a deadline, don't rush. Finish it, and take some time off. Even if it happens to be a day or two.

After every piece you write, take some time to go outside. Don't just look out the window and say that is good enough, and then head back to write some more. Get up, and take yourself outside. The air can feel good, and the sunshine could feel even more amazing.
Believe it or not, there are many who do not get outside enough during the day. Nor do many people like to be reminded that they should go outside more.

You should also take time to talk to someone in between writing an piece. This could give you relief, and help you avoid a mental drain, as well. And, you never know if that conversation you have with someone in between may come in use later, as help. Talking to another person can be relieving.

And, grabbing a bite to eat or a something to drink, is good for you as well. This can help spare the distraction of a hungry, noisy stomach, or a dry mouth. It also is good for your health, as well. Your brain will thank you for this.

Of course, it is pretty obvious about what you should do, when taking a break, or after you finish a piece of work. The worst you can do for yourself is carrying on, writing one piece after another, without a break. Forgetting to eat, drink, breathe... Just forgetting to live, and be human, can become a major mistake for any writer, at any point in your career.

A reminder every so often will never hurt, right?

© 2015 Kryssy Bruckheimer

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