So, what is writer’s block (or a creative block if you’re an artist or musician)? Here’s the definition and tips on how to overcome it.
What is Writer’s Block?
A writer’s block refers to the inability of a writer to think of something to write, or how to proceed in current writings. The writer feels blocked, which can be a really frustrating experience.
This feeling is not exclusive to writers though. Everyone who creates things may experience a creative block, such as artists and musicians as well. This experience often manifests itself in form of procrastination, or just sitting and staring at a blank piece of paper, document, or canvas for long periods of time. Sounds sad, doesn’t it?
Why does it happen?
It’s actually a really common experience though, especially at the beginning of one’s creative career or at the start of a new project. But why does it happen?
A writer’s block or creative block is not a physical problem, but a psychological one. There can be many reasons for some to feel blocked in their ability to create, some examples are:
- Experiencing too much pressure or expectation
- Fear of not being good enough or talented enough
- Forced to work in a too restrictive frame
- Lack of inspiration and motivation
- Depression and other mental moods that inhibit creativity
- Feeling overwhelmed by the task
Luckily for us, there are methods we can use to overcome writer’s block or creative block.
How to Overcome it
1. Set a daily creative practice
One of the best ways of overcoming creative blocks is to force yourself to just continue creating. But you can do it in a much less pressured way. Create without expectations. For example, if you are a writer, then write about not being able to write. If you’re an artist, practice copying someone else’s painting. That’s all better than not creating anything at all. And every time you repeat an action, your brain and body will get more and more used to the feeling of creating, and you will have moved past your block.
2. Go on solo artist dates
If your writer’s or creative block comes from a lack of inspiration, motivation, and feeling overwhelmed, try going on solo artist dates. Artist dates are solo dates you go on (alone), to feed your well of creativity.
For me, it really works to buy art books or books about other creative people that inspire me. You can get so many ideas from other people, and you don’t need to create in isolation.
3. Take care of your mental & physical health
Be kind to yourself, boost yourself up, sleep well, eat healthily, and take yourself on up-boosting walks outside with good music. Do anything you can to feel better as a person, and it will help you to be more creative. If you need, talk to a therapist or other creative people about your block. You don’t need to overcome it all alone.
4. Live an exciting life!
I personally find that chasing the feeling of excitement works wonders for my creativity. If I feel unmotivated, I seek to expose myself to a lot of new things until something sparks a burst of excitement in me. And when I feel that feeling, I know that that’s the way to go! That feeling always leads me to a vision of something to create, or a topic to write about, or a whole new field of enjoyment.
5. Build more self-love and validate yourself
Sometimes, writer’s blocks or creative blocks come from insecurity and a fear of other people thinking that your work is bad. If that is the case, you need to start building your own confidence up. And yeah, that may come in the form of support from family and friends, but you can also learn to validate yourself.
Related: Learn how to validate yourself
If you need to hear it, here it is:
You have every right to create the things you want to create. Your mental vision of a literary work, visual art, or musical composition, is fully valid. If this vision exists, then you should absolutely bring it to life and share it with others. I promise you, no matter what it is you create, there will be at least one person, most likely many more, who will resonate with it and appreciate your work. So, do not keep it to yourself. Create what you want to create, and share it with the world. The internet is one of the absolute best places for this.
It is in the nature of humans to create and expand the world we live in. Why else would we have built the entire world we have around us? All the technology, art, books, music, culture, institutions, buildings, and explorations (even to space!). We have this innate intelligence, consciousness, awareness, and creative ability for a reason. So if you have the urge to create, then listen to that urge, and do it. Because soon we’ll all be dead, and this is the chance we get.