There are only two types of people in this world: Those who believe in writer’s block and those who don’t.
Yet, we’ve all encountered moments when it was time to write and all we heard were crickets. It can often feel like there isn’t anything or anyone to turn to for help with overcoming it, which makes the writing process feel lonely at times.
Whatever form of “writer’s block” you believe in, it happens to the best of us. Still, there are practices you can try to help you get over a rough writing patch, including AI tools that get your creative juices flowing.
Below, we outline some of the common causes of writer’s block as well as actionable tips on how you can overcome it.
Common causes of writer's block
A lot of what fuels writer’s block can be distilled into a few common causes, including:
A perfectionist mindset
Perfectionism is the enemy of all progress, including the task of filling a blank page. It’s been said before that perfectionism is simply veiled insecurity and fear. As writers perfectionism is a defense mechanism we use to keep criticism at bay.
We often want to start by creating the perfect sentence, then the perfect paragraph along with the perfect title. But it’s easy to forget that writing is an iterative process. You take the time to get something down on paper you can work with, then you go back through it and arrange it, edit it, and cut out bad sentences until you have a much better piece than you did four revisions ago.
A perfectionist mindset gets in the way of that end-to-end writing process. Then writer’s block inevitably sets in.
Fear is the emotion to blame for so many things in our life, including writer’s block. Tying right along with perfectionism, the fear of creating something that isn’t up to our expectations can feel so real, it becomes creatively crippling.
Yet, through your writer’s journey, you eventually hit a fork in the road. A point where you have to make a decision: Do I let fear get in the way of the writer I’d like to become? Or do I write anyway in the hopes of eventually producing something I can be proud of?
Working under the pressure of an impending deadline often stops us in our tracks. It’s stressful, which doesn’t help our ability to get our creative writing juices flowing.
Once you know deadlines are messing with your ability to overcome writer’s block, it becomes a matter of managing deadlines since you might not be able to eliminate them altogether.
That terrible comment a random internet stranger left on that piece you finally hit publish on? Yeah, it may be the cause of your writer’s block, especially if you haven’t taken the time to process it.
Yet any creative activity, writing included, takes courage to partake in. Criticism will always be around the corner no matter how good or bad something you wrote actually is.
If left unchecked, bad feedback can keep you from writing. It keeps you from successfully filling your next blank page.
Lack of focus
There’s a lot of competition for your time everyday. The phone’s ringing, texts are pinging, social media notifications are coming in, and oh, you forgot the plumber who was supposed to come to fix your sink today.
When are you supposed to have time for actual writing when a million things are pulling for your attention? A lack of focus is often the culprit for false starts.
Maybe you’ve been able to carve out time to actually sit down and write, but when the time comes, your mind is miles away, focused on a ton of other, smaller tasks.
This is where you can practice awareness as a way to bring yourself back to the present moment and the task at hand. Easier said than done, It’s why a creative practice like writing takes intentional discipline.
Ways to overcome writer's block
Overcoming writer’s block starts with understanding that there is no permanent cure for writer’s block. Much like the common cold, it isn’t something you can completely cure.
No two writers are the same. This means there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to successfully overcoming writer’s block every time it strikes. That’s why one of the best approaches to beating writer’s block is to come up with creative solutions that work for you.
Consider trying some of the following ideas:
- Take a break for a long walk
- Write out the frustration you’re feeling from writer’s block
- Create a new workspace and attempt to write from there
- Go to a new coffee shop to write
- Create writing templates you can revisit when you’re stuck
- Work out
- Read your favorite passages from your favorite books
- Read through past work that you enjoyed writing
- Get up and stretch while listening to music
- Take a break and watch something creative for inspiration
- Let yourself imitate the writing of your favorite author
- Rewrite your favorite book passage word for word to get into writing mode
How Jasper helps you work through writer's block
Let’s say you’re working on a first draft. You’ve beaten procrastination and have blocked off some time to write. You’ve started with some freewriting, you’ve brainstormed, and you’ve even gotten through the first few writing prompts.
Yet the ever-present writer’s struggle still plagues you. You can’t seem to get past the first few paragraphs. This is where incorporating an AI writing assistant into your writing routine can have a massive positive effect on your struggles with writer’s block.
How? Think of it as a way to get your creativity flowing. In essence, you input a few keywords and an overall idea, and an AI tool like Jasper creates a working paragraph you can mold to your liking.
Let’s walk through an example. Imagine I’m a marketing solopreneur and I want to create a piece about the art of writing the perfect newsletter. As I sit down to write, the culprit strikes once again. Writer’s block takes hold and I can’t bring myself to create words and the blank page stays blank.
This is when I decide to turn to my Jasper dashboard so it can help me get started with an introduction. Once logged in, I choose the Blog Post Intro Paragraph template to make getting started with the first paragraph as easy as possible.
Once I enter my title, the audience it's for, my language, and my preferred tone of voice I generate an initial paragraph. Here’s what I get:
From there I can take that initial paragraph (Jasper generated three to choose from!) and tweak each sentence to my liking. I can also use it to write the rest of my post with Jasper’s Boss Mode.
It enables you to dictate what you want to write while it forms the sentences for you. Plus, with the sentence rephrase option you can rephrase a specific sentence until it flows just so.
The writer's advantage
Sometimes no amount of writing tips can help you get over the writer’s block hurdle. But when you get someone (or something, like Jasper) to get a hold of your idea and start bringing it to life, it’s a surefire way to get the creative gears turning. The more you do this, the easier it becomes over time.
With AI, writers today have more of an advantage to beat writer’s block than ever. That’s why it’s important to incorporate helpful tools, such as some of our favorite Chrome extensions for writing, into your creative process. That way, you eventually land on something that works with your own writing schedule and you can use it indefinitely.
Additionally, using Jasper’s writing templates to automatically generate content doesn’t just help you get over the writer’s block hump, it’s also a huge time saver. Here’s a complete walkthrough of how you can create a blog post in under 10 minutes.
Do more writing with AI tools
No matter how experienced you are as a writer, it’s safe to say writer’s block is a universal problem. Some of us might experience it for an instant before getting traction while others can spend days or weeks unable to fill a page. Whatever the case may be, don’t stop writing.
There are plenty of creative ways to combat writer’s block, including writing tools like an AI writing assistant that can help take your writing process from good to great.
Why waste so much time staring at a blank page when you can generate a fresh new paragraph around your subject matter with the click of a button? That’s the power of Jasper’s features at work.
If you’re ready to try a new way to beat writer’s block, get started with Jasper here.