Writer's Block. A writer's worst nightmare, right? But what exactly is writer's block? And how can you tell if you have it or have ever had it? I think it's time to shed some light on this epidemic and find out why writer's block happens to the best of us.
What is Writer's Block?
It has been defined as the unfortunate moment when an author or writer suddenly loses the ability to come up with new material. It can be a lack of ideas, lack of focus, or simply the inability to come up with good content, period. It can also vary from a minor bump in the road to a full-fledged roadblock. Furthermore, it can last for a few moments, a couple of hours, or even years.
As writers, when we find ourselves unable to produce new work, our whole world can quickly fall into disarray. After all, wouldn't it be quite stressful to suddenly not be able to do what you do best? What if you woke up tomorrow and forgot how to talk or if you sat in the driver seat of your car and everything looked Greek to you? Well this is what writer's block can be like for a writer: an absolute nightmare. This in many ways sounds not unlike that of a mental block - you know the full repression of certain thoughts or methods of thinking.
What Causes Writer's Block?
Common causes for this phenomenon could be:
•You have run out of inspiration
•You have been greatly distracted
•You may feel overwhelmed
•The project has proven to be out of your scope
So we are then left with the most important inquiry of all.
How Do You Stop Writer's Block?
One solution is repetition. Keep moving, keep with the motions, and eventually you'll get the pep back in your step. Another is actively maintaining focus. Yet another is one of the hardest things to do: step away! Coming back with a fresh set of eyes can make for a world of difference. So what is my secret?
I do Writing Research!
Indeed it looks like a strange enough a solution at first glance, but I encourage you to look again. I don't experience writer's block today because I have turned my anxieties to research. When I feel myself slipping off the writing treadmill, I turn to a different mode of work. Good writing often requires even better research. Whether I'm looking up German landscapes or the proper way to load a revolver, I'm researching something that will be going into my writing later (in this case my overseas Supernatural thriller).
Research is the systematic process of gathering and investigating materials for later on. Gathering facts for future writing is a great way to actually give your creative brain a rest. I effectively learn and gain insight through research, so when I sit down to actually but those fabulous ideas to work, I've got all kinds of materials to pull from. Research can subconsciously supercharge a fried writing circuit. Don't believe me? Give it a try. You never know what you might just learn... literally!