Writers block. The deadly evil that hits every writer at some point, and many times. Don't fret about it. One of my favorite sayings is , "You're not alone in that boat." When it occurs there is no specific amount of time it lasts. It could be hours, days, or weeks. However, you can make it worse by dwelling on it. Here's a link to a great article by Jeff Goins on the different ways to overcome it. https://goinswriter.com/how-to-overcome-writers-block/ However, not to repeat much of what Jeff says, there is another angle to it, which is the purpose of this post. I want to focus on why it happens, and how to avoid, or lessen the occurrences. While Jeff mentions timing, fear, and perfectionism, there are other factors as well. I will list what I believe are the top five.
Focus: What is going on in your life that is distracting you? Listen, everyone encounters problems in their life. Relationships, health, a job, just to name a few. If you can't focus on the task at hand, you can't write. If you do, it reads back as mush. There are times that you will try to just write through it.
AGE: When a writer is young, they are in a hurry. Writing takes thinking and planning. Thinking ahead of what you're writing in order to set the stage for what's about to come, and how you will get there. As a writer gains experience and gets older, they are less impatient. Therefore, they get less frustrated. With that said, although your mind might be sharp, it's a medically proven fact that our minds aren't as sharp as they were when we were younger. Your focus can be compromised some.
Medications and medical conditions: Often times due to a medical condition, or medications you may be taking, your focus or drive can be affected. There are ways to fix that because most medications reach a "peak" effective period in your system. For example. Let's say you suffer from anxiety. You will find there is a time of the day when you are at your least anxious state verses other times. Learn when you feel is your best time, and that's when you write.
What do you think syndrome: You have someone read a chapter every time you finish one. Think about that for a moment and try to answer these questions. 1.) Is your complete story in that one chapter? 2.) Is it fully edited and ready to be read? 3.) Has that chapter made it's point? I can tell you now, the answer to those questions should all be "NO". If it's yes, you must have a very short book. Why would you want anyone to critique an unfinished product? Early reviews can, and will, lead you to make many changes that could cause you to lose your focus on the entire story. Reviews are good, but wait until the work is complete. This will help you to keep your focus. Trust me, you will re-write parts of it many times on your own. If you want an early review, let a friend or someone you trust review your outline of the book. See if that makes sense.
Why does it have to be now? I've tried many different things. Setting aside the same time each day to write. Writing only in the morning, afternoon, or evening. When are your least amount of distractions, or do distractions not bother you? There's only one answer to all of that. Write when you feel like it, regardless of time of day. For me there are times distractions bother me, and other times they don't. I have awoke at 3 am, had a thought, and sat down to write.
There is only "ONE" magic cure. That's the one that works for you. Writing like any art form, is a creative skill and process. You can't turn creativity on and off like a light switch. When it's there and you fell it, you need to act on it. In Jeff's article, he mentions many possible solutions to the common problems. The main theme is to not think about, distract your mind from it, and try again. At times to overcome writers block, you just have to write through it. Why not, you can always go back and edit it. I'm the type that believes as most, that when there is a problem, there is a reason. The key in this case is to find the reason and fix it. It goes back to a blog I posted a couple of weeks back on "Cause and Effect." Identify the cause, analyze the effect, and fix it. Writing is no different then anything else in your life. When your in the mood, you will be at your best. Forget trying to make excuses for it. That's what they are, excuses. It's never been said that excuses fix a problem. Fixing the route of the problem fixes it. I hope between Jeff's article and my thoughts, this helps anyone who experiences writes block, or any issues that stop you from doing anything. Many of these concepts apply to life in general. I will leave you with one of my quotes, and please share this blog post on your social media sites.
"The first goal in anyone's life should be getting to know themselves." - Caesar Rondina