advice

7 Reasons Why You're Experiencing Writer's Block

Have you ever heard of a surgeon saying they couldn't operate because they had medical block or an auto repair technician wait for inspiration before fixing a car? The creative field, particularly writing, seems to be the only one in which blocks can occur. Although, there are some that truly believe in this phenomenon, I'm of the mind that writer's block is caused by external factors.

Once you figure out specifically what's wrong, you can then address the issue and write again.

Here are 7 reasons why writer's block might be kicking in:

  1. Distractions. Facebook, the news, your dog, or a new book. Anything can be a distraction and supersede your writing time. Don't let it!

  2. You're Hungry/Thirsty. If I'm hungry or thirsty I can't write. Try to have a meal an hour or two before you start to write. Keep water, coffee, or the drink of your choice by your computer.

  3. Your Environment. If busy cafes are too distracting then don't write in them. Similarly, some people do better if there is a lot of background activity going on. Find out what works best. Also consider temperature, humidity, etc.

  4. You're Burned Out. This isn't the same as being blocked creatively, but rather you're exhausted. You need rest. Let your manuscript sit a while, get some sleep, and then dive back in. Sometimes, you may need to take a few days off. That's okay. It's just like a job. Vacation time is important.

  5. You're Mentally Scattered. What I'm referring to are racing thoughts. They could be because of emotional worry or need. Or, you have too many ideas for a plot. Calm down, pace yourself, and just let the words flow.

  6. Perfectionism. You are obsessed with making it sound good the first time. If it doesn't, you either rewrite what you've written or give up altogether. Stop! Instead, just write and keep what comes out. Editing comes later.

  7. Fear. What if this has already been done? What if everyone hates it? What if they hate me? These fears happen to everyone, but the goal is to fight through them and keep writing.

Can you think of any more not shown? How do you deal with writer's block?