You Have A Bad Case Of Writer’s Block: Here’s How To Face It And Erase It
Your paper is due in the next 10 hours, and you haven’t even finished the outline. You know what you need to convey, but the words just won’t come together so that you can craft something that is both cohesive and witty. You keep telling yourself that there is no such thing as writer’s block. “It’s all just a myth,” you say. Now, you know that’s not true!
Writer’s Block Defined and Placed in History
Your inability to get beyond the outline of your essay is proof of the condition that prevents you from being productive. Writer’s block, or the progressive reduction or complete loss of creativity, has affected many famous authors of past times.
Many believe that Herman Melville, who wrote the classic story of Moby Dick, quit the craft of writing altogether because he suffered from a severe case of writer’s block that kept him from coming up with something new. Unfortunately for Melville, writer’s block was not recognized as an actual thing until 1947 when psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler described it. People probably thought that Melville had merely lost his “juice.”
Reasons for the Condition
It is evident, through your present struggles, that the issue of losing “juice,” or falling into the snare of writer’s block, is still a possibility. Why are you experiencing such troubles, though?
The number one reason why students encounter the dreaded writer’s block syndrome is due to pressure. Your brain works better when it is not under high stress, according to science. Passion, one of the central ingredients needed to create an excellent short story or highly engaging term paper, slowly disintegrates when you zero-in on due dates and strive for perfection at all cost.
The aim of your outline or first draft should be to get everything on paper. You, however, may be one of those students who believe that every sentence must be appropriately structured and, of course, punctuation perfect. That need for perfection is killing your creativity and leading to your stalled productivity.
Your high expectations are ruining your chances of finishing before the deadline since pressure tells your limbic system that it is time to either fight (i.e., stick it out and churn out new ideas) or take flight (i.e., shut down). With your brain already working overtime on other tasks at school, is there any doubt that it will take flight?
Another reason for writer’s block is simple burnout. Perhaps you are just tired of addressing the same subject and need a break. It is during these times that seeking the services of a professional may be helpful. A pair of fresh eyes can not only give you the rest that you need, but a new person in the equation can also offer a different perspective that can rare up those thinking juices to get you back on the path of productivity and good grades.
Other Ways to Fight Writer’s Block
Perhaps you are feeling like Herman Melville and are ready to give up on the craft of writing altogether. Try these alternatives before you raise your white flag to the dreaded writer’s block condition:
- Go for a walk: Did you know that the sedentary life is not the best thing for your brain? Taking a step outside could be the very thing to replenish the juices that have been lost in the process of you trying to create the perfect paper.
- Rid yourself of distractions: This advice may seem impossible if you are a single parent. How are you supposed to focus on your writing when the kids are screaming for their bath, food, and everything else they can ponder? Sometimes you have to go the extra mile and create a schedule that keeps the little ones occupied while you are working at home.
- Read a book: Seriously, the power of reading goes far! You can change your environment without getting off the couch by merely cracking open your favorite novel and getting into a bit of reading. Newspaper articles are also great for those who need a quick break from writing.
- Listen to music: Music is another alternative to writing that gets the juices flowing. Do not get lost in the tunes, though. You still need to finish that outline and paper.
- Create a routine, write it on your board, and stick with it: Discipline takes the guesswork out of your day, which can reduce your chances of encountering writer’s block. Create a plan that does not force you to multi-task, post it in your study area, and do not alter it even if your friends offer you free ice scream to hang out with them when you should be writing.
Writing is a craft that does not come naturally to everyone. Sure, you can create a grocery list or write notes now and again. There is a big difference, though, between creating reminders and crafting something that is both cohesive and interesting. Writing takes a lot of thought and analysis, which are not favorite attributes in the digital age. It is not abnormal for you to experience writer’s block, but you certainly do not need to live in the neighborhood of reduced productivity. Use these tips to fight the condition. Happy writing!