How to Overcome Creative Blocks


There are different types of creative blocks, which are a cause of frustration to many. Included in the list is mental block, writer’s block, emotional barrier, among others. If you happen to be a creative professional (meaning you rely on your creativity to feed your family, pay for mortgage, and everything else), it can be dangerous.

For instance, no matter how good a writer you are, you would have problems creating new work if you encounter writer’s block. With a looming deadline and other things on your mind, it can be challenging and frustrating, not to mention potentially damaging to your career.

The Enemy of Every Writer

You have always dreamt of becoming a writer ever since you laid eyes on your very first hardbound book of fairy tales. You never wanted anything else, only to weave magic and creativity through your writing, and you actually are living your dream now. Every time you sit in front of your computer, it’s as if a floodgate opens and all the ideas come pouring in.

Nevertheless, there might come a day when you find yourself at a dead end. No matter how hard you try to tap into your brain for ideas or look elsewhere for inspiration, you find nothing. Suddenly, the excitement you feel each time you have a blank document in front of you has been replaced by dread. Now, you wring your hands every time you know you need to sit down and write, or will do anything (even the minute chores), just to postpone, buy some time, keep you from doing what you’re supposed to do – write. That, unfortunately, is writer’s block – every writer’s enemy.

Deal with It

You know something went wrong, something that has severed your love affair with something that you used to be so passionate about. Regardless if you are an undergrad, a Ph.D. candidate, accountant, lawyer, or a novice writer who wish to tell your story but just can’t seem to find the words, you need to find a way to reconnect, to fix the “bond” that fuelled the passion for writing you discovered years ago. How can you deal with it? Here are some writing tips you can use to overcome writer’s block:

1. Create a Safe Writing Environment for Yourself

Find the time to attend writing workshops because this is where you can find valuable writing tips. Here you will understand the importance of creating a good writing environment for yourself. You will learn that the writing path has many obstacles along the way and so you have to be ready to fall, thus, learn to get up and move forward.

Getting out of your comfort zone may give you a different perspective. A well-renowned creativity and innovation speaker, Yvonne Adele, also encourages breaking routines. She said, “Everyday if you just break one routine, you start training your brain to think in a different way.” In that practice alone, you start to open your mind so that fresh and new ideas may come.

So, don’t allow yourself to be filled with fear and frustration, because once you do, you’ll find yourself heading back home, finding other diversions, things that will make you leave your dream behind. Instead of being paralyzed by frustration and writing block, take careful steps to rediscovery.

2. Find a Trusted Mentor

A trusted mentor is not somebody who will give you all praise and no criticism. On the contrary, there may even be more criticism, and little, if any praise at all. However, that’s okay, because you know he or she is there to teach you how to nurture yourself as a writer and improve your relationship with writing. This is the most crucial thing a mentor can teach you, and it is more valuable than discussing essay construction or the narrator’s role when it comes to short nonfiction. He or she is somebody who will offer you instructive and positive feedback about your work, tell you how you’re doing and suggest various ways you can revise to make your work more gripping, more engaging, more insightful.

3. Break It into Manageable Pieces

Who wouldn’t be overwhelmed with writing one whole novel or a seven-page essay? You get frozen in your seat just thinking about it. Therefore, you need to be able to break it to manageable chunks, to workable and realistic lengths. When you’re done clustering all your ideas and gathering all the data you need, start slowly.

If you’re writing a novel, start with the first chapter, the first page, the opening paragraph. Don’t worry if it doesn’t sound perfect (that’s the reason you create drafts). The same thing goes with essays. Make a couple of drafts for the first few paragraphs, writing, reading, rewriting, and reading again. Repeat this process until the words make sense and become cohesive. Before you know it, your words will just flow and one page will become two, then three, and so on. Make it a daily routine and you’ll soon find yourself close to completing your masterpiece. Read this interesting article on daily routines of famous writers. You might just get a tip or two that can change the way you approach your writing habits or routines.

4. Finally, breathe. Learn to relax.

Not all these writing tips will work and you will still suffer from mental block if you don’t learn to relax and remain stiff as a board. Take deep breaths. Close your eyes, meditate for a few quiet moments to calm your nerves. Give yourself positive affirmation that you are a writer. You may not write as fast, you may not be as eloquent as the others may be, but you can be just as good, even better. Don’t beat yourself up. The more you loosen up, the more great ideas can flow in freely through that wonderful mind of yours. Good luck!


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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