Reasons for Writer’s Block

Some say writer’s block is a myth. Others say it silences their muse. Whatever position you hold, you know that sometimes, writing is hard. Really hard. And it’s hard for a reason. Here are my top 3 reasons for writer’s block:

1) Boredom

This one is more common for me than I’d like to admit. I like variety and have a lot of interests, so boredom stalks me like a hungry lion. A loathing to go write, staring blankly at the screen. I know I need to write, but the words just won’t stay in focus long enough to make it onto the page.

The solution could be as simple as listening to music or using a story prompt to get unstuck. Mixing up your usual writing ritual can be enough excitement for the muse. Or it could be the old fashioned butt-in-chair discipline.

If you’re at all like me, it may take proactively avoiding boredom. I avoid boredom by writing scenes out of order. In non-fiction, I try to alternate writing about theology and craft whenever possible.

2) Burnout

This is probably my biggest struggle, stemming from my problem with boredom. If I’m plugging away at a project and giving it all my energy for more than a couple of months, I risk burnout. Constant creation using a specific creative outlet will deplete your supply at some point unless you are refilling it and allowing that part of your mind to rest

This is why it’s important to take time for physical activities, as well as reading, studying, and listening to unrelated topics and content. Exercise other parts of your mind while you allow the depleted part time to rest. This will not only give new life to your depleted creativity, it will also strengthen your mind and make you more balanced as a writer.

3) Brain Fog

You can’t put two thoughts together, normal words seem foreign to you, and it feels like someone has stuffed a fluffy pillow between your ears. Brain fog. This is most often health related. It can stem from allergies, sickness, medications, or even your diet.

For example, if you have a mild intolerance to gluten, consuming glutenous foods can cause long periods of brain fog, even if you aren’t aware of a gluten intolerance. Other foods can do the same. Illness has a tendency to produce brain fog as well, due to the body fighting bacteria.

Some medications also list brain fog as a side effect. There was one writer I read about (couldn’t find the article, sorry!) who couldn’t write a word for two years because of a medication. Pay attention to your symptoms and, of course, consult your doctor before making medication changes.

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