Defeating Writer’s Block
So, it’s been a year since the latest post I wrote for my Medium. And honestly, I have been through a great battle with something called “Writer’s Block”. It’s such a condition that bothers me most when I’m about to write my ideas here, since it will disconnect me from the fresh, well-made opinion I have currently and then pause my interest in writing for unknown period. It can make me in hiatus for several days, months, or even years. And fighting against it is not as simple as one think about that.
Let’s discuss about writer’s block. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is (n.) “the problem of not being able to think of something to write about or not being able to finish writing a story, poem, etc.”; while in the full-term, it means “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece”. Thus, if this is a typical state of mind that frequently happen to most people who write, which leading them unable to continue their writings, there must be causes behind of this classical phenomenon. As I read several books about writer’s block, I’d better review some of them that often happened in my cases, including:
I’m not going to lie when mentioning Distraction as a cause of the writer’s block. Because, I tend to absorb almost every kind of topic happened in daily life. Yes, the ease of Internet access helps me to conveniently gather information and news. But the diverse categories of information sometimes overwhelm me at which topic I’d like to write first, mostly occurred when there are more than one event happened in a day. This condition eventually directs me to such perplexity of thoughts and then makes me stop finishing the post.
I always remember at how one of my Interpals friends clearly describing procrastination as his handicap, and I can’t just deny it. I mean, it’s is such a negative habit, since it can lead to delay more works and at last end up us in stagnant mode. My mother always tell me to not laze around and suspend to-do activities, but yeah, words are easier to do than actions.
- Lack of confidence
I am calling myself as an introvert, and since then I’m too hesitant at exploring my own ability. Though I can say that I like writing a lot, as well as my infatuation in music, I find it very difficult at showing off my skill. Probably it is greatly affected by the lesson I learned in Islam which says that it is prohibited to brag and be excessively smug over ourselves to others, since the one who should have owned imperium is God Almighty. Thus, I never intend to perform my skill in public and deliberately boast it against other people.
- Few resources
This is the reason I have when I’m writing a scientific articles, and sometimes does prevent me at writing subjectively. I am educated in the college (I’m an engineering student, what a weird person to write this post, hahaha) that all statements and arguments we give have some scientific basis and also approach that is not limited to only own perspective. Plus, mass media is very horrible nowadays, since they can obscure facts and intertwine them with their opinion in hope to lead public opinion in accordance with their intention.
Such a cliche reason, actually, since I always make writing as an escape from the stress I get in real life. Though so, stress is capable to make me lose interest in writing the current articles I’m in and therefore direct me to suddenly stop writing.
- Quick deadline
Nah, this reason does have a big impact in writer’s block. But I rarely happen to get writer’s block, because spontanity is such a friend of mine. I can be more productive when I’m in a rush, get lots of creative ideas and then I’m able to pour all of them into a post. It will be a different case, when long-term deadline is mixed with procrastination, since I will get another writer’s block and then pause writing for a while.
- Stagnant environment
Yeah, sometimes monotonous routines often bore me and it just make my laziness worse attacking me, hahaha.
Though it seems the number of writer’s block causes is bigger than the solution itself, here are some tips I’d like to share some tips about how to defeat your eternal enemy of writing:
1. Make sure you have a great intention to write something. It can be your own reason to bring people information, or just let them know about your opinion over today’s event. Write all the options you achieve from the approaches you use. The more you question about a topic, the more you get answers to afford your opinion.
2. Listen to your favorite music while trying to pour your ideas into writings. I mean, it does bring a motivational impact for the reason why I have to write.
3. Write something honest. It helps you to bring ideas and easily write down the topic you’re currently into. It can potentially become subjective, but with knowledge you have (and make sure to improve, because it has indefinite sources, you know) you will find your own will to write and also the character of your ideal type of writing. Imagination can be helpful, too, but only if you’re about to write fiction stories.
4. Last, but not least, don’t write under external compulsion. It can lead you to write under single perspective (which is uncool) and also stress that can, uh, return to writer’s block.
Writing means a lot to me, since I can explore myself through the writings I have done, and also I’m capable to be more active on giving opinions. Maybe it’s not something visible in society, since I’m not a sociable person, but I believe that writings are more powerful than speeches, since they can be a track record of my self-expression.
Merriam-Webster online dictionary
Gold, P. 2015 Break Through Writer’s Block. Queen Bee Publisher, Inc.
Bane, R. 2012. Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance.
Rose, M.A. 2009. Writer’s Block: The Cognitive Dimension.