Throughout history, writers have recounted wars, illnesses, and personal tragedies. For the last two years, we've been battling a global pandemic. Fearful moments can result in severe writer's block. This article aims to reassure you that it is acceptable not to write at times and to suggest solutions for you to resume writing.
Why Do Writers Quit?
Writers, after all, write, don't they? At the moment, I know several writers who do not. They are not alone; artists of all genres occasionally endure a complete shutdown of all artistic output. They are not battling procrastination; they are battling a lack of motivation. They are overwhelmed by the events occurring around and inside them. They make time to write; they sit down in front of a blank paper, but they are unable to control their creative faucet. Worse yet, they blame themselves for their inability to write.
Self-Care is Critical
When this occurs, immediately alleviate the stress. I recognize that this is easier said than done. Perhaps begin by allowing yourself to refrain from writing. This is why: Once you've entered a downward spiral, it's critical to break free. Simply pausing to do something may suffice.
What good is it to tell yourself you're a writer? That it is your responsibility to write on anything, that you must be competent and capable of writing in any situation and at any time? Remain calm; you are, after all, human. You are a creative individual. Your sensitivity enables you to be creative. Numerous factors can profoundly impair and even dull this sensitivity, including the following:
Situations in Which You Are Unable to Write (And It Is Acceptable!)
Overwhelmed by an encounter that you are unable to comprehend.
Whatever you perceive as a threat (consider the current pandemic!)
Situations that alter one's life (for instance, childbirth, employment change, marriage, divorce, or a loved one's death).
Physical or mental weariness.
A collection of numerous minor circumstances (for instance, you're attempting to write a novel, your relative is coming to visit for the forthcoming holiday, and you're juggling preparations with a wailing newborn and a day job).
Does any of them ring a bell? It is completely acceptable to refrain from writing in all of these instances. How could you do that? How can you consider producing something gleaming and novel when you feel absolutely dead inside? These are the periods when we must attend to our most fundamental requirements. Put an end to your writing. Seriously. It's acceptable.
The Enemy Of Creativity Is Force
Be kind to yourself.
Put an end to your creative compulsions. That is simply not true. Yes, you can nudge creativity and even 'kick procrastination, but you cannot force yourself to be creative. Force is the nemesis of imagination.
For a while—take a break from writing.
Observe what occurs. Self-care is necessary because you know what works best for you. In the meantime, attempt to comprehend the source of this reaction.
Make An Attempt To Comprehend Why You're Feeling That Way
According to Walter Bradford Cannon, a psychologist, when humans are subjected to great stress, they exhibit one of three probable responses: fight, flight, and freeze.
These are all profoundly ingrained in our neural system. It's normal for us to gravitate toward one of the three options. Since the dawn of mankind, all of these have been part of the human arsenal for dealing with life-threatening crises. However, what does this imply for writers?
Writers who choose to battle make use of their abilities to overcome adversity. They may create procedures to keep track of events, journals to express their emotions or write about the problem in order to design possible solutions (good or bad).
Fleeing writers do not write; they procrastinate. Generally, they are completely conscious of their actions. They do not begin writing until their conscience causes them more anguish than the original issue. This does reintroduce them to writing, but their stress levels are through the roof. This is not recommended!
Writers who freeze at the beginning of a challenge are frequently overwhelmed to the point of inaction. Their fountain appears to be dry; the words would not flow. This is the circumstance in which it is acceptable to refrain from writing. Trying to force yourself to write would only add to the stress. Therefore, refrain from doing so. At this stage, self-care is more critical. Take the course that is most worthwhile to you. However, please continue reading. We may have a solution for you.
Writing As A Survival Technique
Additionally, writing can be extremely soothing. Writing therapy comes in a variety of ways, and the most basic ones are accessible to everybody. This does not require the assistance of a skilled therapist.
How is this possible?
Writing allows us to both relieve and detach ourselves from stress. You're not allowed to brood once you've created a list, correct? Writing is a critical act of distance. However, the words continue to elude you? How about these easy methods to reactivate your motivation?
Simple Steps to Get Started Again
Consumptively read. Read authors who put your current state of mind into words. Read authors who provide solace.
Perhaps you could utilize a favorite poem. In your own words, rewrite the text. All that remains is for you to translate this into your native tongue. You will not be pursuing literary merit here. You simply wish to reconnect with literature.
You're now prepared to revisit the writers who chose the 'Fight'-reaction. Take a closer look at their toolbox.
Utilize the Writer's Toolbox
Prompts serve as gatekeepers. Typically, a suggestion is intended to arouse something deep within us and elicit a response. All you have to do is record it!
This can take a variety of forms. At the end of each day, the classic 'Dear Diary' narrative has never gone out of style. Additionally, you can write in the morning. Generally, we are more distanced from a recollection of former occurrences. Determine which method works best for you! Additionally, you can keep gratitude notebooks or create beautiful bullet journals that contain no text at all. Journals are excellent for chronicling your life - they have inspired numerous works of fiction. Journals can also be used to detach from and reframe actual experiences.
Consider literary forms.
You are now writing. Great! Choose from a variety of genres: plays, short tales, and poems. Short forms are more manageable than longer forms. What you want to accomplish is to convey your predicament but also to elevate it. Literary writing is not merely a reflection of reality; it transcends it.
By now, you've read so much on the benefits of writing that I hope your fingers can't stay still. Sharpen your pencils, reload your pens, and dust your keyboards! Have fun with your writing!