Today, I’m gonna talk about writer’s block, what is it and how to overcome it.
First things first. Let me tell some of my writing habits. I write blog posts, essays, and longread articles on a wide variety of themes from travelling and social media to current affairs and gambling. My work involves writing about previous experiences and A LOT of research. Since, however, the work is almost exclusively nonfiction, I don’t get blocked too often, except when I try to come up with titles for my articles – I hate cheesy article titles. Thankfully, some of my mandatory work comes with a title so all I have to do is research, which is my favorite thing after writing and proofreading. Even so, the thing that comes the hardest when writing a nonfiction piece is the beginning, sometimes the end of an article. The first paragraph has to give an introduction to what are you going to be rambling about in the next lines and the final paragraph has to offer an overview of the whole text as a conclusion.
The history of the writer’s block
Samuel Taylor Coleridge is considered to be the first writer( poet in his case) that coined the term ‘writer’s block’. He acknowledged in his notebook in 1804 that year has passed and he wrote only some poems that could have been written in a month. The English Romanticism suggested that poetry, which was the most famous in that times, was not something from within but a gift from God/the Universe etc thus it was not surprising there were periods when the gods did not want to reveal their beauties. Contrary, other writers ‘forced’ themselves to write for predetermined period of time, in the 19th century the trend was for early mornings.
Edmund Bergler, a Austrian psychoanalyst coined the term ‘creative inhibition’. He concluded that people got writer’s block because they wore deprived of maternal milk.
Today, writer’s block is associated with ADD and oftentimes treated with medication.
Some practical solutions to writer’s block
While I don’t personally became ‘blocked’, when I am ‘off’ and I do anything to postpone my work, writing courses, or blog posts I do some simple but efficient things:
- Take a walk. Walking has proven effects of the psyche, it relaxes you and sometimes, makes you think clearer. For me, it works. I usually take my camera and take photos of everything that inspires me.
- On the same note, ride your bike, use your old skates, skateboard or anything fun related for outside. Oftentimes, new ideas come to me when I ride my bike. After one hour in the fresh air of the morning, I feel ready to fight that essay.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking water is very important for your insides. Cherish your guts, brain, and kidney by drinking a glass of water every half an hour.
- Drink tea/milk. I don’t drink coffee so tea and milk is the it drink when I take a break from work.
- Read a book/magazine/blog – take your mind of your own writing by reading something else. When I take a break from writing, to clear my head I read some pages from the book I am currently reading.
- Have a hobby/passion. I am not very good at crafts DIY but tried, in my spare time, to build a small ‘place’ for my cables( I have over twelve). It made me think of something else than work. It felt refreshing. Also, I try to better my photographic skills.
- Work-out. For me working out keeps me focused and present. The elliptical trainer is my everyday best friend. For about 90 minutes I stay away from work and at the same time I keep up with my favorite shows.
What do you do to keep the writing flowing?