Writers Block - Inside Story !
We often hear about people complaining about suffering from writers block, what exactly does the phrase mean ? and, more importantly why does it happen ? I have heard of article writers saying that they are unable to write because of some reason or the other – some valid some imaginary and some personal.
Writers block refers to a condition where the writer generally loses the ability to write or concentrate on their writing work, thereby unable to produce any new work. Their mind goes blank and no ideas are formed even when they keep trying to come up with new subjects and ideas. It can happen to anyone and there are cases where famous writers have not written for years together and one fine day, suddenly the block lifts and they are back at their work like before. It is a strange condition no doubt but we need to explore why this happens and how one can overcome it?
This condition was first noted by the famous psychologist Sigmund Freud in 1947 during one of his research process. He did some ground work and conducted many tests and has come up with a few reasons why it may happen.
Some of the major reasons
1, The first and the most important reason could be that the writer has simply run out of ideas - this could also be because of limited field of work or vision or creativity or whatever that is inherent in the person. The writer or author in effect has limited capability which he or she has exhausted all the ideas and is unable to come up with new ideas or write on new ideas. There are examples where leading or well known writers have decided to write a great epic only to find that they are unable to complete it because they are unable to put in more ideas or run out of ideas and left the project half way through. This happens in any creative fields – paintings, art work or films !
2, Secondly , the reasons may be practical, like for example if the writer has had a great personal loss or has been ill or has had a calamity that has taken up all his/her time and effort, in which case it is not possible for an individual to concentrate on coming up with new ideas. The only thing that can be done is to wait and hope that the thing blows over and he or she is able to get back to their writing or creativity like before.
3, The reason also could be due to insecurity and self doubt in some cases. If a person has written a commendable piece that has got positive and overwhelming response and become extremely popular, he or she may feel diffident in bringing out another work with the fear that it may not come up to the previous standard of writing and hence may decide not to write again. They in effect remain one book wonders. The world would never know whether they had the capacity to produce more such work or what happened was just a flash in the pan.
4, In some cases, some of the people do have many ideas and would like to put them on paper but they are not fluent in the language in which they intend to write which becomes the reason why they stop writing or never take up writing . They fear that their grammar and structure may not be up to the mark and thereby never take up writing although it is something they can identify with.
5, It could also be plain laziness and a laid back attitude that stops some writers from writing. They may do so only when they are compelled to do so when there is financial pressure or have stiff competition coming from close quarters. This may spur them into action and they may take an interest in their writing.
There could be many other minor reasons as well that stop a writer from giving up writing altogether and sometimes giving it another try after a few years.
How to overcome writers block?
Self analysis always works – An honest self analysis by the writer as to why he or she is unable to come up with ideas, covering every aspect is bound to help. If one were to dispassionately go through their work and also probe their mind and get to the bottom of the problem area which creates the block, they are bound to come up with a solution.In fact, this one point is enough to find a solution and get the writer attempting to write again.
Start writing again – Instead of giving up altogether, many psycho analysts suggest that one should keep a note pad and keep writing as and when ideas form on a daily basis and once this habit gets established it is not difficult to get back your flourish and enthusiasm for writing in a few weeks time, may be even earlier .
Discipline yourself – It also has a lot to do with setting goals and working towards achieving it. Once you have made a self analysis and are aware of your strengths and limitations , you have to concentrate on those areas where you know you could excel and try and improve in other fields by getting more information on the subject and doing some research work. This work itself is an anti dote that gets you out of writers block and you are sure to begin your work.
Being a perfectionist – this is the reason why many writers stop writing because they want to write nothing less than a perfect piece of fiction or non fiction. If that is your problem , it may be a good idea to keep writing and ask for suggestions from eminent writers and keep improvising your work until you are satisfied with it. This way you are writing as well as improving in your job scaling new heights.
Meditation helps- Meditations seems to have positive effect on everything in a human beings life. It clams your nerves and gives a clarity which in turn makes you a much more creative person since you are able to focus better. Meditation has an all round benefit for both body and more so for our mental well being.
Don’t worry about the beginning – Many writers have a problem with not knowing how to begin their article or fiction or non fiction or whatever they intend to write, so they they keep delaying and finally give up altogether although their mind is active and overflowing with ideas. The best thing to do is to write whatever cones to your mind on a note book and format it later. Once you begin writing you will also get an idea as to how to begin and end your writing.
Most analysts agree that physical health and mental well being go hand in hand. So once a person is leading a healthy fulfilled life there is no reason why he or she should not be able to write and produce decent literary work. Writers block need not be an obstacle for not writing once you have probed and analysed and come up with possible reasons for not writing.
So, if you have the interest and the inclination to write and find that there is something holding you back go through the steps and get yourself back on track and you will once again write without any blockage. Finally, none of us is perfect and we all learn and become better with time and experience .One should constantly look for means to improve by reading on various subject matters and taking an active interest in what is happening around us. There is an interesting subject matter in every little day today matter, if one has the vision to convert it into an article or fiction.
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