Top view of a typewriter on a wooden table with crumpled pieces of paper next to it. Writer's block concept

What Is Writer’s Block?

Writer’s block is a mental block that makes writing seem like an insurmountable task. Whether you’ve run out of inspiration, encountered a plot hole that you’re not sure how to fill, have depression that has kept you from all of your hobbies including writing, or simply don’t have the time or energy to write thousands of words right now, the result is the same: you have a mental block, and you cannot write.

Fear not, dear reader! It’s totally normal to sometimes have that mental block. Part of being a writer means fighting through it even when you are lacking in inspiration or not sure where to go from here.

I came up with five myths about the dreaded writer’s block, which will hopefully help you feel more at peace when your brain meat doesn’t want to cooperate.

Let’s begin.


Myth: Writer’s Block Is Laziness

Writer’s block, in my opinion, is the furthest thing from laziness. What it actually is, is perfectionism that hurts your ability to write.

Real talk: your first draft will probably be garbage. Almost certainly, in fact. But that’s okay. 

You have to learn to be okay with writing pure garbage so that you can come back to it eventually and make improvements that will turn it into a quality draft that you can send out into the world.

It’s something I’m still learning. I feel like the first draft has to be the draft. It took a long time to realize just how close to impossible it is to write something perfect and ready for publishing right away.

Speaking of which…


Myth: Writer’s Block Is Always Bad

Sometimes writer’s block is a good thing. Is it pleasant? Absolutely not.

But as I mentioned in my previous post on why you should never start your story with worldbuilding, you are too in your own head when it comes to your story. Often that means writer’s block hits you because you were so fixated on your story going a certain way, that it’s difficult to come up with alternatives. You write yourself into a plot hole and find yourself stuck.

That means writer’s block, while frustrating, is sometimes necessary to your craft. You need to take some time away from your writing, get some rest, and take a nice, long shower so that when you come back, you can reassess and find new paths to get you out of the dreaded block.


Myth: The Advice to “Just Write” is Cliché and Unhelpful

I know, I know. It’s one of the most annoying things writers hear all the time. “Just write.”

Trying to research ways to overcome writer’s block probably won’t work, the “just write” advice is cliché but also true. Sometimes, despite your soul screaming at you to “please stop, it’s gonna be bad, you’re not inspired, don’t write right now or you’re gonna write something garbage,” sometimes you have to just…do it.

Seriously. Force yourself to put down a couple of words and go from there.

I’ll give you a personal example: This is the last part of this blog post that I wrote because I had a bad case of writer’s block. Eventually, I just said to myself, “Do it you dumb bitch, just put some words down,” and I did it. 

Seriously. Just write. You’ll start off feeling really awkward and convinced you’re somehow doing it wrong because you lack inspiration, but you may be surprised by just how fast the words start to come to you when you just write.


Myth: It’s Easy to “Just Write”

Yeah, that’s right. I’m hitting you with two points that seem opposed, but are actually not as mutually exclusive as they seem.

Writer’s block is tough. And the answer often is to just force yourself to write and just let it be word vomit that you can fix later. But here’s the thing: people find this advice to be unhelpful and cliché because it can be very hard to force the words on the page when you’re simply not feeling it.

I’ve heard it said that you can’t operate solely off of writerly inspiration. Sometimes you just gotta power through it. I agree with this advice, but I’d add the caveat that forcing yourself to “just write” can feel really uncomfortable, and sometimes the best thing to do is to seek out some inspiration before you force yourself to sit down and write.

It’s good advice; that doesn’t make it easy advice to follow.


Myth: Writer’s Block Never Ends

When you fall victim to writer’s block, there’s always this underlying fear that it’s more than just a normal block; that you’ve lost your spark and will never find the inspiration to write again.

But here’s the thing: writer’s block always ends eventually, and the call to write will claim you again. It might not be this week, this month, hell, it may not even be this year. Life gets busy. Inspiration may be hard to come by. And sometimes, like I mentioned above, following the advice of “just write” is much easier said than done.

I can assure you, though, that writer’s block will not have you in its clutches forever. Seek out inspiration. Sit down and write your thoughts until you get that spark that gets you writing again. Hell, write when you’re supposed to be doing something else. I’ve found that to be one of the most effective ways to beat writer’s block, because it’s doing something you actually enjoy while trying to pay attention to another task that you really don’t.


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By The Angry Noodle

Bryanna Gary is the founder of The Angry Noodle. She is very smol and noodly, and also dipped in pasta sauce.

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