Did you know that the term writer’s block was first coined in 1947 by Austrian psychoanalyst, Edmund Bergler? The condition refers to a significant slowdown in writing productivity or the inability to produce new work. In severe cases, the writer or author may not write anything for weeks, months and even years. Famous authors who experienced writer’s block at some point during the course of their writing careers include Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Wolf and Joseph Mitchell. The good news about writer’s block is that it can be overcome, and you can regain your writing productivity, even if you haven’t written anything in quite a while.
Common Reasons Writers Experience Writer’s Block
Writer’s block can occur for a variety of reasons, including a traumatic brain injury, a physical or mental illness, excessively high levels of stress and financial hardship. It may also be caused by a natural disaster or global pandemic that either greatly affects your physical home or greatly affects your physical and/or mental health. Writer’s block isn’t a loss of your muse or your writing creativity or ability. It’s still there, you just need to figure out why it's buried and dig it out.
Overcoming Writer’s Block and Regaining Your Writing Productivity
Overcoming writer’s block means examining yourself thoroughly inside and out, especially if you’ve previously said to yourself – I’ve lost my muse. When you convince yourself that you’ve lost your muse or creativity, you are giving yourself an excuse not to write. You are not solving the problem.
Identifying the Problem
The first step to overcoming writer’s block is to identify the problem. This could be an internal problem or an external problem. An internal problem is one that affects you personally. An external problem is one that doesn't specifically involve your physical or mental health or wellbeing, but instead, involves external factors, like your work or home life.
Finding Solutions for Internal Problems that Are Affecting Your Ability to Write
When we talk about an internal problem or issue, we are talking about your physical and mental wellbeing. You could be experiencing symptoms of mental illness or a physical illness that is compromising your ability to write. If you suspect you are ill, then you should speak with your doctor(s) about either getting treatment or changing your treatments. Once you’ve sorted out your ailments and regained your health, you’ll find that your ability to write and think creatively has returned.
Finding Solutions for External Problems that Are Affecting Your Writing Productivity
An external problem is one that affects you but has nothing to do with the state of your physical body, mind or spirit. Causes of this nature may be due to your environment. Is your house dirty? Do the laundry or dishes need done? Are you having frequent arguments with your loved ones? Are you stressed about your job or your finances? Is there some sort of natural disaster or global crisis that is affecting your area or your ability to make a living and feel secure?
External problems are slightly easier to identify but may not be any easier to solve. If you’re experiencing a natural disaster that has damaged your home or a personal financial crisis, you may need to deal with those issues prior to starting to write again. If you have frequent arguments with your loved ones, it may be time to hold a family meeting to work out your problems and lessen the chaos in your home life. If the crisis is with your job, you may want to discuss ways to remedy the situation with the individuals at your job that are causing your high levels of stress. If the external problem is a nationwide recession or depression or global crisis, there may not be any fast ways to remedy the problem, but you can develop a new normal for your given situation so that you can begin to write again.
Creating a New Normal in the Face of a Crisis
1. Set Your Sleep Schedule – Pick times to wake up and go to bed. This is especially helpful if the crisis has caused you to lose your job.
2. Eat Healthy – When faced with a crisis, it’s tempting to eat unhealthy food, especially cookies, chips and high-calorie foods. Remember to vary your diet and include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. When your body is well-fed, your mind is well-fed.
3. Remember to Exercise – Sitting all day or lazing around the house isn’t good for your physical or mental well-being. Remember to take time out of each day and exercise. This can be as simple as pacing your house for 30 minutes and using soup cans as weights. In this modern age, there are also plenty of exercise apps on your phone or tablet that can allow you to choose a cardio or weight lifting program that works for you and that you enjoy.
4. Schedule Your Writing Time – Put writing on your schedule. If you schedule it, you’ll be more likely to do it, and after all, you can’t write if you don’t put your butt in the seat, turn on your computer and type out a few words. Just remember, when faced with a crisis, any number of words is a good number. They may be 10 words or 1,000, but no matter how many words you write, you’ve still made progress.
By utilizing these tips and tricks, you can overcome your writer’s block and regain your creativity so that you can finish your next fiction or non-fiction book and start the process of getting it published.
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AVIA III: Cons and Cops Kindle Edition - Available for Pre-order (Release date March 1, 2020)
Kidnapped by the Sanchez, thrown into the backseat of a black Cadillac and hit in the head, Avia is on her own when it comes to escaping her captors and returning to her uncle’s La Pryor ranch. However, she is determined to escape from the blood-covered backseat and disgusting garage where Xavier and Jamie Sanchez have decided to hide after realizing their car’s radiator is leaking.
In the meantime, Benton has been rushed to the hospital suffering from a deep bullet wound to the shoulder. Upon waking from surgery, he is dismayed to learn that Avia is still missing. He demands to be released in order to find her but is refuted by Brian, who tells him that he must stay in the hospital until he’s healed enough to go home. In an effort to calm Benton and to alleviate his own fears about where Avia is and what might be happening to her, he tells Benton that he will go look for her.
Unbeknownst to Benton, Brian has ulterior motives for finding Avia. Her kidnapping has brought to the forefront a barrage of emotions that the Company hitman has yet to deal with, but one this is certain, he can’t stand the thought of losing Avia.