Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly

Are You Suffering From These 3 Hidden Writing Blocks?

4 Comments

A woman sitting at her laptop in a not so ergonomically friendly position. I wonder how much writing she'll get done..

Image Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Writing blocks are a controversial subject. Is there such a thing as writer’s block? Many would say yes. Some would say no.

I’m not here to weigh in on that debate. I’m here for another reason.

I’ve found three things which do impact on writing and which will not get better simply by doing a bunch of extra writing exercises.

To get past these three problems you first have to know they exist and then work to fix them.

So what are they?

Uncomfortable Writing Spaces

We all get that antsy feeling from time to time when we don’t want to write. We’re sitting in front of the page and we shift in our seat, stretch our necks and sigh a bit.

Okay, sometimes that’s just procrastination. But sometimes there’s more to it.

So try sitting in your writing space and check the following:

  • Is the temperature comfortable? Not too hot and not too cold? (Hey, Goldilocks had a point.)
  • Is your chair the right height? Is your computer set up in the right place? Check these ergonomic guidelines.
  • If you’re writing by hand, is your pen digging into your finger? Could you get yourself a more comfortable pen?
  • Do you get cramps in your hands when you write? If you’re writing by hand, could you be gripping your pen too firmly? If you’re typing, could you use a wrist rest?
  • Is there sufficient lighting? Could you do with a brighter bulb, a new lamp or perhaps different curtains?

All these things have an effect on your comfort and therefore the patience you have for your writing.

Eyesight Problems

When was the last time you had your eyes tested?

Recently, I realised I’d been suffering from headaches, muscle tension and eye strain. I went to the optometrist and found out I needed new glasses.

Once my eyes (eventually!) adjusted to the new prescription, I was surprised by how much easier it was to sit in front of the computer and write for longer periods of time. My eyesight had slowly been affecting my quality of work without me even realising it.

As a writer, your eyes are an important part of your everyday tools. In the same way that a mechanic will maintain his tool kit, you need to make sure your eyes are functioning at tip-top efficiency.

Emotional Strains

There is always an emotional component to writing, especially when you are having trouble writing. I didn’t realise how much of an effect those emotional components had on writing until I read The Writer’s Portable Therapist by Rachael Ballon.

If you still find you’re having difficulty writing, it’s definitely worth a read. We writers pour our hearts onto the page, but if our emotions are working against us then writing becomes a whole lot harder!

Those emotions don’t just magically fix themselves up by you tying yourself to a chair and forcing the words out. Sometimes you have to spend some time examining yourself and understanding your inner nemesis before you can continue.

What about you? Have you found any of the above affecting your writing?

By the way, my new e-book Creativity on Demand has a section on how you can create you own personalized solutions to writer’s block. If you haven’t had a look at it yet, why not download it now?

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Author: Jessica

I'm a writer who refuses to pin myself down to one genre, hopping from science-fiction and fantasy through to literary and even the odd western now and then. Check out what I've written at www.jessicabaverstock.com or follow me on Twitter @jessbaverstock.

4 thoughts on “Are You Suffering From These 3 Hidden Writing Blocks?

  1. I don’t suffer from writer’s block, but rather from inescapable responsibilities screwing up my writing time. So I agree that most of the time, it’s not the muse or the drive that gets bogged down within us writers, but the circumstances that get to us. The three problems you mentioned are certainly often encountered culprits. 🙂

  2. I’ve heard plenty of people say that writer’s block doesn’t exist, but I beg to disagree, as I’ve worked with lots of people who suffer from it! These are good tips to help.

    • I’m fascinated by the fact that people can be so adamant writer’s block doesn’t exist and yet there are so many people who are obviously blocked in their writing.

      I wonder whether those who say writer’s block doesn’t exist really mean ‘writer’s block is not incurable.’ There’s always a reason why someone isn’t able to write. The trick is to find out what it is and help them over it. Each person’s reasons for being blocked are different, but there are reasons.

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