Look around you. You are surrounded by a world full of mind-blowing words, ideas and patterns. Creativity has no end. Imagination is limitless. Look at your own brain. It has a huge potential. It has a mindblowing size of storage space and creativity. Then the question is:
Why do writers experience writer’s block?
Writer’s block can be defined as a blockage which interrupts your creative flow and makes it difficult for you to produce new work. I can think of several reasons why this happens:
1.) lack of novelty
When you listen to your favourite music for the first time, it feels great. So you listen to it again. Then again and over and over for a few days. A week later you don’t enjoy that song as much as you did for the first time. Notice that the music was always the same, but your mind reacted to it differently to it, because it needs novelty.
Similarly, your writing needs novelty, new music, new patterns, new rhythms. It doesn’t mean that your old writing is bad. The brain just needs something new!
2.) You are trying hard to create a masterpiece.
I have fallen in this trap when I was in college. When designing an architectural project, I would try very hard to achieve beauty. As a result I would be stuck because I was so concerned about how it would look.
I realised that masterpieces cannot be created consciously. They just happen. If you try to make a beautiful blog post or a perfect novel, you will have a hard time creating anything.
Beauty is not in your hands. It will not come on demand. It will just happen when you get the correct combination of hard-work, love and dedication.
3.) You are worrying too much about the audience
Yes, your readers are important. But your writing gets affected when you think too much about how your readers will perceive it.
Remember that writing is a creative expression. There is an intimate bond between you and your written work. When you worry about the audience, you spoil this bond and thus the creative flow.
4.) You need a deeper connection with your own mind
Whenever I feel that my ideas are becoming shallow and mainstream, I try to establish a deeper connection with my mind.
The world of distractions may not let you go deeper within yourself. But deep within you is the only original creative source. All else is secondary.
5.) It is only your belief
Ahhh yes, the mind is very tricky. It can easily fool yourself into thinking that you have a ‘writer’s block’. Just dig a bit deeper and analyze yourself honestly. Is it only laziness or procrastination speaking with a mask of a ‘writer’s block?’.
As I said earlier, your mind is full of creative abilities. One of them is also fooling itself! So beware of this trap. Shed light on the behaviour of your own thoughts.
Ways to overcome writer’s block
If you have found the correct reason for your block, you may already know the solutions. But I have some unique ideas to offer you which can be useful in any creative task. So read on!
1.) Diversify your mind
I rarely experience a creative block. I think the reason is that my mind is involved in many different activities such as chess, architecture, music and writing. All of these areas require different ways of thinking. I feel it is a huge benefit because it allows me to use one way of thinking into another area.
A creative blockage comes when we tend to think in repetitive patterns. But if your mind is diversified, it knows many different ways of thinking and rarely gets trapped into one way of thinking.
Try to learn skills which involves different ways of thinking. For example:
- Learning a musical instrument
- Engage in your favourite sport
- Play memory games
- Engage in mathematical and analytical problems
- Exercises of ‘what if’ thinking
- Exercise your visualization power
All these skills require different ways of thinking. developing your mind in such a diversified way takes time, but it has long term benefits. The best part of your mind is the ability to abstract and connect different areas.
2.) Play with the tools of your work (Type, write, Talk!)
When we got stuck in architectural design process, we were suggested to use different mediums. For example, if we were working with plan drawing, we were told to make physical models and 3d models.
Architectural plan, sections, elevations, 3d model, software models are various tools we have for designing. Playing with the tools like this allowed us to see our design from a different perspective. It is really helpful when you are stuck.
What are the tools and mediums for writing and composing?
On a physical level, you can type ,write or speak (record) your work.
When you type, your mind works at a different pace and character than when you write with the pen and paper. It is drastically different when you speak and record your intended piece of writing!
If you feel blocked with writing, may be try and record yourself, and then put down those words in writing. I am sure it will be a wonderful experience!
I have often found that talking out loud to myself brings up words effortlessly, and then I translate them into written words.
3.) Generate conversations with friends
If your mind is feeling a block, try and get it out in front of someone else! It is a simple but very effective way. Talk about your ideas with your friends, get them out and brainstorm.
No ‘writer’s block’ can survive the force of a strong creative conversation with a friend!
4.) Embrace the gap
As I shared a Mozart quote in my previous post,
” Silence is very important. The silence between the notes are as important as the notes themselves“Mozart
You may be in the mode of silence. Embrace it. You need to have this gap so that you can allow new fresh ideas come through it.
This entire post was generated from a comment by another blogger on 10 Mozart quotes to inspire the ‘Genius’ within you.
5.) Tap into your 3 sources
Experience, reflection and research are the 3 most important sources you have. Check out the 3 most important sources for your next blog post to know more about it. 🙂
I hope these ideas would help you lift the burden of ‘writer’s block’. I will end with the useful questions you can ask yourself:
- What is the true reason for my feeling of creative block?
- What skills can I develop to be able to think in various different patterns?
- How can I play with the composition of words?
- Can I record a speech about my topic/idea for writing?
- Whom can I freely talk about my writing topics?
Thank you for reading. 🙂 If you are feeling a writer’s block, feel free to get it out on the comments section. As I said, a good conversation with a friend will help you alot in overcoming it.