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Omojuwura

 
We all know how it is said that there is no smoke without fire, oh how true this is. There is always a reason for everything, we may not know it but there always is. Why do houses collapse? Why do babies cry at birth? If you think it through or dig deep to know, you will find reasons to all these. So also, there are reasons writers experience writer's block.
 
There might be a thousand possible causes of the block, so many they are that if I was to write them all, I might just end up with a river-long-like list, but I am only human and wouldn’t know them all. Do not worry, I have written a few of these causes and their best possible solutions, enough to help you understand why you have been in this condition and to overcome it. They include:
 
1.      Laziness
2.     Fear of criticism/rejection
3.     Stress/fatigue
4.     pressure
5.     Perfectionism
6.     Mental strain
7.     Comparison
8.     Lack of concentration
9.     Lack of inspiration/motivation
Noo, of course not, like I already made it clear above, these are not all, they are just the major causes of the mental block for all creatives. Now let's break them down one at a time. Their solutions are in ALL CAPS LIKE THIS.
 
1.      Laziness:
 
No matter how much this truth is denied, it doesn’t change the fact that it is the truth. Most writers are simply lazy, so lazy that they procrastinate a thousand times and at the end of the year, they have nothing written down, not even a text message to a loved one. No offence meant, but these writers are their own blocks. I know, I used to be one so I know. I know a supposed writer who writes once in a year, sometimes, this writer does not write at all unless mandated to by an authority. Something has to push them before they do. In this case, all you have to do is STOP BEING A LAZY WRITER AND JUST WRITE!
 
2. Fear of criticism/rejection
 
Fear, as many would agree, is a great hindrance to success. It is the one problem that many face in life, in fact, ten out of every fifty failures, can be said to be caused by fear. It is no different from the writer's case. Writers, more than any other creatives in the creative industry, experience fear all the time. Sometimes, it is the fear of criticism, most times, it is the fear of rejection.
 
Why do writers have these fears?
 
Just as a toddler fears to fall while attempting to walk, writers fear to write because of critiques and outright rejection from their audiences. I remember a female friend of mine who also happens to be a creative writer hiding her works from me, her reasons? Well, in her own words:
 
Funny right? I thought so too. Well, YOU NEED TO OVERCOME THESE FEARS. Stop worrying about whether it will be liked or not, all you need to do is WRITE AS IF YOU ARE TALKING TO A PARTICULAR PERSON. That person will like the write up if it connects with them.
3.    Stress/Fatigue
 
Okay, here we go again. This is the most exasperating of them all. I mean, how can a human being with a human brain and a human body sit at a desk hour after hour doing the same thing without a break? They keep lamenting how a thousand and one clients are on their neck and how they need to deliver fast enough like they don’t know how to say “no please, I have enough projects I'm working on already” to the next client. And you expect to keep flowing like a river down a cliff? No way! EVEN A MACHINE NEEDS REST SO REST!
 
4. Pressure
 
Pressure can also contribute to a creative block. Like I articulated in number 3 above, learn how to say no to those clients who come with that very stressful project and wants you to deliver almost immediately you accept the project. You will never get the best out of yourself working under pressure. You need to work cool and calm, at a normal pace, and without a rush. That’s the only way your creative prowess can be felt in your works. That’s the only way you can really be creative. DO NOT WORK UNDER PRESSURE!
 
5. Perfectionism 
So you sit at your table with your writing materials, ready to start this big project you’ve been wanting to start but somehow, the ideas on your mind are so beautiful and wonderful, such that your words on the paper fail to match them, then, in a bid to create that same perfect picture on your mind, you keep writing and tearing them off or deleting words page after page until a week or two passes and you are yet to get that perfect picture. Let me give you a piece of candid advice, STOP TRYING TO BE PERFECT AND WRITE!
  
6. Mental strain
 
I know you are already saying “it’s the same thing as stress”, yes, except, in this case, your brain is the main victim of this abuse. A lot of things can cause this, from the hormonal changes of menopause to a preoccupation with a work problem to a lack of sleep. When the brain is stressed, it stops being productive or effective in reasoning. Just as the doctors will advise against worry, I WILL ADVISE AGAINST STRESSING YOUR BRAIN WITH TOO MUCH WORK. AVOID MENTAL STRAIN.
 
7. Comparison
So writer ‘A’ writes an amazing article that everyone loves and you begin to wish you had done the same? Good of you, I mean, everyone wants to be the best but come on! We all have our different grace, what works for writer ‘A’ may not work for you so stop putting in so much effort in trying to be like writer ‘A’. stop comparing your every effort with that of the other writers. Doing so only makes you feel you are not good enough and that never works for anybody, not even the playboys trying to win over the same girl with some romantic texts. BE A UNIQUE WRITER, HAVE A STYLE, NEVER COMPARE!
 
8. Lack of concentration
 
I've been in this circle, it is frustrating. Most times it is due to our environment. Can a student study while their favourite T.V show is on? Of course not! how can you try to creatively pen down a story and at the same time you are trying to babysit. No way, you have to do one. Creativity requires a lot of creative thinking, especially for technical writing or crime stories. Every writer knows their creative power and where it booms so as a writer, you need to know your environment and how to make it favourable to you and your work. If there is a persistent distraction, my advice is for you to ELIMINATE IT!
 
9. Lack of inspiration/motivation
 
Just like in the case above where there is a lack of focus or concentration, if there is a lack of inspiration or motivation, then you are stuck at a creative block. Some of us at some point need a certain kind of motivation to keep the pen dancing on the paper and the ink flowing. I remember starting a story on Wattpad that never got completed. Yes, I never completed that story, up till date. Why? Well, there was no inspiration, a certain book I read had inspired me to start writing the story, but at a point, I was stuck, nothing was coming to mind. I tried all I could but it wasn’t working. Soon, the spark was no longer there and that was how I left the story and have never been motivated into going back to it (I hope to do so soon). However, I have learnt to never let the spark die much more to seek a motivation to rejuvenate the dead spark. It is as simple as DOING SOMETHING THAT INSPIRES YOU. Maybe read a book, listen to music, play video games, hang out with friends, go hiking etc. there are a countless number of things you can do to feel inspired.
 
 
Conclusion
 
Creative block or mental slow down is not a matter to be overlooked. It has put some people’s progress and growth in the creative industry on hold. Do not be deceived, there are no special ways to becoming a professional writer other than writing. There is no road leading to stardom in the creative industry. The only way to becoming better at what you do is to KEEP WRITING AGAINST ALL ODDS. Take coffee breaks, go see a movie, play hide and seek with your spouse or child, hangout with that amazing friend or go on that date, but please! WRITE!
 
Thank you for reading this article.
 

  
About the author
 
Ani Chukwuemerie Michael is a writer cum filmmaker who started writing comics and children story as a child for his friends and classmates. He has, over the years, grown in love with the art. He developed an interest in poetry in 2014 after attending project Ws-80, an event held in honour of Professor Wole Soyinka's 80th birthday, since then, he has successfully written over a hundred poems and is still writing. He also
writes for the screen as well as contents for websites and blogs.
 
Your feedback will be much appreciated, so feel free to contact me with your thoughts on this article or possible questions:
 
Mail: [email]pennedwhispers@gmail.com[/email] Instagram: www.instagram.com/animaku_michael
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/micheal.animaku

23 Apr, 20
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