· What causes writer's block?
· How long does it last?
· Things you can do to prevent it.
· What to do if you get writer's block.
First of all, let's make it clear that writer's block is not like the flu. It's not something that can be diagnosed, and different things can cause it for different people.
One of the major causes of writer's block can be any stress that the writer is feeling. The stress could be over money, a relationship, a looming deadline, worries about a sick loved one, and the list goes on. When the body and mind are tense and worried about something else, it can be hard for a writer to feel creative -- and almost impossible to relax enough to produce ideas. Health issues also can cause writer's block because they contribute to physical stress.
Other things that can cause writer's block are:
· Rejections from publishers, or someone criticizing a writer's work
· Stressful surroundings, such as house guests that make your house a louder place than usual. While they're there, and for a time after they leave, you can't produce a thing.
· Mood shifts
· Writing in a genre not suited to the writer
· Feeling pressure from a deadline
There isn't an over-the-counter cure for writer's block, so there's no way of telling a writer how long it will last.To be honest, it can last as little as a few hours or as long as months. It depends on the cause and what you do to overcome it.
How to Overcome Writer's Block
The key to overcoming writer's block is uncovering what's causing it. There is the temptation to sit down and force yourself to write, even if it's gibberish, and hope that will open up your creativity; but that's not always the answer. If something specific is causing your writer's block, then you must work to eliminate that problem before you can ever just force yourself to "get over it."
Here are some tips to overcome it:
· Relax! Writer's block causes you to stress out, even if stress isn't the cause of it. Find a place where you can get some solitude and relax. Your mind needs the peace and quiet.
· Meditate. You can buy books on meditation. It will clear your mind and help ideas flow to you.
· Pinpoint the cause of your writer's block. If it's stress, find a solution to whatever is stressing you out, even if the solution is just a way to manage the stress. If it's health issues, try to keep a positive outlook on your health. A positive outlook is good for the mind and body.
· Exercise. Go for walks. Expose yourself to sunlight. This is especially important if depression is causing your writer's block.
· Make sure you eat right. Avoid greasy foods, as well, as junk food.
· Write what you feel like writing. Don't force yourself to write a certain genre, or force yourself to write something you really don't want to write.
· Ask for extensions on deadlines. Within reason, publishers and editors usually are happy to grant small extensions if you ask for them plenty of time in advance.
· Read books and watch movies. Stimulate your creativity with someone else's creativity.
· Try writing exercises. Sometimes writer's block is just caused by not having any new ideas, or thinking your ideas aren't good enough. When that happens, try writing exercises.
How to Avoid Writer's Block
We're sorry to say there's no method that's 100 percent effective in avoiding writer's block. Life is unpredictable, and since some blocks are caused by life happening, there's no way to avoid it completely. However, there are some measures you can take to help avoid it.
· Deal with stressful situations head-on. Don't let things that stress you out "pile up" inside of you. Writers tend to be loners, and they don't always deal with how they feel.
· Exercise. Taking walks or working out can work out stress and keep your body healthier so you can focus and write.
· Avoid consuming too much alcohol or mind-altering medications (unless medically necessary). These affect your brain and can inhibit creativity.
· Stay positive. Writing is fun, but dealing with publishers and editors can be emotional and stressful.Try positive affirmations and remember that every writer's road to success was paved with rejection slips. Rarely does a writer "hit it big" right out of the gate.
· Find a quiet place to write. Allowing yourself to be immersed in your thoughts without distraction is also a big boost to your creativity.
· Read the news, books, magazines, and watch movies. Go to museums when you have the chance. Immerse yourself in all forms of art. You may just find inspiration.
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