Here’s the truth about writer’s block. It’s not because you aren’t satisfied with what you’re writing. It’s deeper than that. What you’re going through is the finest result of this. Read more.
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It’s already the -ber month.
In the Philippines, September has always been the start of the Christmas season. Which is why we have longer Christmas holidays in Asia. Perhaps, in the world, too. In Germany, we’re starting to feel the cold air.
The thing is most people find it hard to appreciate Christmas – no matter how lengthy or short the season is – because they aren’t happy with their own lives.
Simply because they aren’t feeling the joy inside them, accepting or, at least, embracing the feeling of joy is difficult.
- What Is The Writer’s Block?
- What Causes The Writer’s Block?
- How Fear Affected My Writing Life?
- What Can You Do When You Experience Writer’s Block?
One of the top reasons for this is the financial lack.
Unfortunately, most of us are in the same situation. Instead of enjoying the upcoming holidays, we are in the search for money-making opportunities online or full-time jobs.
Often, bills and taxes add to the frustration. Especially if you have a family to raise. It’s a lot to take in.
For a writer like you, being in these kinds of situations affect your writing juice – affecting your job as a freelance writer, your stories, or whatever write-ups you’re into.
As a result, you become more and more familiar with the word “stuck.” But before we go on, I’d like you to download your FREE PDF Guides and get started with making money as a writer today. Click the image below.
That’s the term they’re saying all the time.
So, what is the writer’s block and what happens if a writer (regardless if you’re a content writer or a fiction writer) has one?
Writer’s block is one of the most feared yet inevitable phases every writer face if his or her writing juice has been all dried up. For sure, you can write a few letters but it feels different. You are uninspired or you feel like writing one sentence takes a day.
For bloggers or content creators, it’s affecting the course of your blogging which you treat as your income source, for instance. You’re blogging actively and becomes a source of passive income.
What I notice is that most of the experts, including writers themselves, prefer discussing about how to get out from the writer’s block or prevent it from happening.
I never came across a post in which someone discussed the pains of writer’s block by itself.
“How to overcome writer’s block?”
“What is the writer’s block and how to overcome/prevent it?”
“17 ways to overcome writer’s block”
Even if you try googling it now, you will understand what I’m talking about.
It seems like no one wants to discuss the “writer’s painful phase” in such a way writer’s like I could relate and be understood. Hence, I write a post about it in details based on my personal experience.
You may or may not have the same experience as me, however, I know you could relate to some terms. And it’s not because of financial lack. It’s the result of it.
So, let’s talk more about it.
What Is The Writer’s Block?
As I mentioned earlier, the writer’s block is one of the most frustrating moments a writer faces.
Regardless of what industry we’re in, be it as a creative writer, fiction writer, freelance writer, blogger, whatever niche we belong, the writer’s block will always but uniquely the same.
Why does this happen?
There are many factors, such as the accumulated negative stress from every distinct part of our lives. Again, financial lack, for example.
That’s just the shallow part of the story. Again, your bank statement is proof of it. A result.
What Causes The Writer’s Block?
Here’s the fact: The writer’s block happens because of fear. A fear of something.
For instance, you’re a freelance writer and you’re complaining about being an ineffective writer or a sloppy one for whatever reasons.
If you try to dig in deeper, it roots from the subconscious fear developed either from your family upbringing.
It’s all about fear.
Other sources give you reasons in which fear is a separate cause from perfectionism, procrastination, and distraction. However, in my eyes, they’re interrelated.
Let me give you another scenario. Here’s my story.
As a kid, I never had experienced the family recognized emotions. It’s ignored and often not considered with every decision my parents do for our good.
Without knowing it, I and my younger sister grew up in a conservative upbringing which later, in our adulthood, became a bad thing. Plus, my parents do authoritarian parenting (as most Asian parents are).
You picture the worst, right? Yes, it does.
According to psychology, once a child is raised in an emotionally neglecting and controlling environment, having difficulties in adult life is at risk. In psychology, they call it Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN).
They may have issues with low self-esteem, self-worth, sense of self, sense of identity, or inability to handle emotions. Dr. Jonice Webb mentioned that you tend to hide your light or you don’t get what you want except by chance.
Given, I am aware that I have issues with these things.
Even if I had a series of leadership experiences and had experienced supremacy among students (as I was a student council president and executive secretary of the student government in college), little did others know I don’t see myself equally as they see me.
I have always been that person with low confidence and emotional instability leading to a perfectionist behavior due to fear of failing in every area of my life. At the back of my mind, I have to be excellent so they won’t see I’m falling apart inside.
Craving for control, I managed to suppress the idea of being unable to recognize or handle my emotions so well by creating the facade of being on top of the game. That I was okay, although I wasn’t.
To do that, I unconsciously developed an eating disorder. Meet my friend, Mia (personified name of bulimia). Since I was quite overweight, I turned my attention to the area where I have full control i.e. the school life and my weight.
These are the areas I felt confident. Simple. Again, I fear in a lot of areas even for petty reasons.
For example, I don’t like the feeling when people asking me to decide on something or encounter a situation where my emotions are at stake.
I try to avoid it as much as I can because I fear the outcomes and the stakes involved. I fear the responsibility involved.
Fear is a very powerful emotion. From an optimistic, cheerful, cute, and bubbly INTJ kid, I grew up the opposite.
Now, it’s affecting my married life as my husband has to deal with this. I know I don’t have to feel sorry about, but I do.
According to Very Well Mind, “fear is a powerful and primitive human emotion.” That means it’s innate for human beings to feel fear if they feel threatened. It’s how humans thrived and survived.
How Fear Affected My Writing Life?
The fact I grew up living with my parents most of my life, a sudden leaving my hometown and my country, in general, created turmoil in my psyche.
Subconsciously, I knew leaving is a great thing because I have to live my life within my terms. Nobody dictates what I want to do or what I should do. Yet, something drew my attention.
Driving away from home, the Philippines, until we arrived at the Laguindingan Airport (local airport), that fear gradually became a cell in mitosis.
It grew and grew and grew until it becomes an abnormal cell. And once you have it inside your body, it becomes a problem, a big one.
Like the abnormal cell, it stayed inside me until the moment I arrived in Zurich Airport after an almost 24-hour journey. Day by day, it continued growing which led me to step away from my writing job.
Giving Up A Wonderful Job
Fortunately, my friend whom I worked for, Roope Kiuttu, understood my situation and remained open with me returning to write for him again. That gave me hope for myself. That I can write again.
As a result, my fear resulted to giving up a wonderful writing job, becoming a burden to my husband who’s been taking care of my comfortable life in Germany, and other creative pursuits, including my Wattpad life.
Inability To Continue My Story (My Wattpad Book)
I haven’t been able to continue writing my stories for my readers. Rather than sitting in front of my PC and start writing something, I procrastinate.
Instead of thinking about writing, I binged watch YouTube videos, Netflix, and do other things just to avoid it.
Lack Of Income
This is a pretty obvious reason after I gave up a job for something uncertain, opening an Etsy shop. Although I have been selling a lot of traveler’s notebook last year, it wasn’t an easy feat.
I enjoyed creating notebooks and I loved the feeling of creating a piece. Yet, just because I encountered a few problems from clients, the fear to deal with emotions came into the picture. As you expected, I stopped running my shop and procrastinate again.
The same thing happened with my writing life in both areas: creative and freelance writing careers. This sucks a lot.
For a writer having writer’s block issues, it’s the most frustrating event. I couldn’t even describe the feeling of pain.
It’s like you want to eat your favorite cake, but you can’t even lift a spoon to have a taste because you fear to touch the spoon itself.
I am a writer. I know that since I was 15. But it hurts me so much that I can’t even press a single word on my PC and start writing. It’s terrible.
What Can You Do When You Experience Writer’s Block?
The internet will tell you many things. Do some crafting or try to simply jot some notes on your Hobonichi or your favorite bujo. You can do.
But in my own opinion, these things wouldn’t work if you miss something.
What is it?
Even if you do some crafting to distract yourself from overthinking or feeding yourself to fear, it wouldn’t work IF you won’t acknowledge and go deeper.
Ask yourself, “What do I fear?”
I know it will take a lot of courage for you to go back to your childhood memories and examine how you’re brought up. You can use Erin Condren’s Journal for that.
Did you ever feel like your emotions are recognized at home? Or do your parents care about how you feel about their decisions?
If not, then you understand the feeling you’re hesitant to share your thoughts to others thinking they would find it stupid and reject it.
Which is why you choose to remain silent and let them decide on anything for you to avoid discussions.
Do you have some past traumatic experiences affecting you as an adult? If so, did you choose to suppress the feeling or you stepped up and challenged it?
These questions will allow you to become vulnerable and pay attention to how you feel. Why do you have to do that?
Writing is connected to how you feel. For fiction writers like me, it’s way more than writing non-fiction.
I know this won’t be easy because it took me weeks to figure out how to do it myself.
In fact, it took me a month to write something and this post will be the first after a long painful, frustrating month of my seclusion.
It’s been almost 2 months since I left the Philippines and live in a new life in Germany. Yet, I haven’t had quite experiences to roam around alone because of fear.
This example also become one of the reasons for my writer’s block. Why? By simply thinking about it makes me feel negatively stressed. And that goes on for the whole day or a week.
Eventually, I become stuck and feel sluggish all the time. If I opt to neglect it (since it’s an emotional concern), I would become depressed. If it happens, Mia knocks on my door and comes in.
It’s the best way I thought would help me calm my senses down and feel better again, though I know it’s not a healthy way to do it. Yeah, I understand this isn’t right at all, but I just can’t stop it.
Giving Up A Piece That Makes You Down
Another thing you can do is to examine which areas require giving up. It covers everything in your life right now. For me, it’s my job.
Why the hell did I do that?
Because of my ongoing situation, I wasn’t able to perform at the best of my capacity and by simply sitting in front of the PC makes it very stressful for me.
I couldn’t press a key to write a word. During the week, all I did was scrolling the topics I should write. But then, I ended up stepping away from my desk and do something else.
There’s a black hole on my PC screen, it seems. As soon as I sit down and face the computer, my mind becomes completely blank and my chest tightens like someone’s sitting on it.
By conscience, I don’t want Roope’s site performance to be affected just because of my inability to work well. I wasn’t able to produce web content for him for weeks. Hence, I decided to step away and give this issue rest.
After leaving the job, I have more time to think about what’s going on with me while do some crafting to distract myself trying to calm down and relax.
“Calm down, Schatz (German term for honey),” my husband says.
Now that I have shared my own story, it’s your turn.
How do you want to face that fear you’re feeling? You may deny that fear and writer’s block are connected, but you can’t.
It’s all about how your parents program and mold you to become who you are right now and how you opt to change something for the best of you.
If you choose the latter, it’s going to be challenging.
You have the potential. I believe that whatever you have in mind right now, be it a plan to start a writing career or searching for opportunities online or blogging. Whatever your plans are, believe it will work.
As Jerry Jenkins, author of 190 book titles and best-selling author of 21 books, puts it, “Legitimate fear humbles me. That humility motivates me to work hard. And hard work leads to success.”
I don’t want to tell people they should be confident since it will make things worse. It won’t work for me either.
It’s like adding salt into wounds. Rather, I want to tell people that it’s okay to feel you’re a piece of sh*t, my friend.
Feel it. Cry if you want. What’s important is that you acknowledge it. Don’t suppress the feeling. Feel it and scream your heart out. Scream at the top of your lungs.
Then, do something that calms you down. Be it crafting or journaling or blogging.
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If you like, you can take a look at my post detailing how you can start making money as a writer.
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If you’re searching for a cheaper option for owning a blog domain, you can also go to Namecheap, which I recommend, too.
If you want to level up your writing, I love to recommend MasterClass for you, too. You don’t have to be a professional writer to write something. Simply listen to the world-renowned instructors like Malcolm Gladwell and enjoy the learning process.
What else do you have in mind, my friend?
Oh, financial lack.
Before you pressure yourself with doing something creative other than writing, don’t think about the money first. It will only contribute to your writer’s block just as I did.
Besides, writers are known for their poverty. It’s a widely known sarcasm and every writer seems to be fine with the stereotype.
Enjoy the feeling of owning a site where you can express your thoughts without fear of being judged. It’s your feelings. I did the same thing, too.
As I mentioned earlier, it took me a month before I managed to pull myself up and write something here. So, it’s best to step away from the money issues first and let go.
Again, acknowledge your fear, your emotions per se. Anyway, human beings will always judge you. What matters most is that you care for your feelings more.
It’s going to be alright. You can do it.
Do you like this post? If you do, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll be very delighted to read them. 🙂 If you want to share your story to me, you can send me an email. Click here to direct you to the contact form.