It’s no secret that the pandemic has caused challenges for almost everyone. From money worries to anxiety and even just plain boredom, even the luckiest among us have dealt with some form of issue.
For writers, the pandemic might seem like a perfect time. After all, most of us are easily able to work from home, and writing in some form or another is always in demand, particularly now everyone has more time on their hands to spend reading.
However, writing is a creative art, and as such, things aren’t always as easy as they might seem. In a recent article, many authors discussed how the pandemic lockdowns have caused them to endure the dreaded writer’s block.
The condition comes about when writers struggle to think of new ideas, and it can be a real challenge when writing is both your favourite hobby and your livelihood.
As a content writer and team leader, I’ve seen first-hand that the pandemic has given rise to more writer’s block. Some of my team at my day job have experienced it, as have many of my friends who write creatively for a living or blog in their spare time.
All of us have, during the lockdowns, have experienced some form of writer’s block. In some cases it’s a severe lack of imagination, where we know that we have to write about a certain topic, but we can’t think of anything. Some people I know have also experienced a milder issue, where they just suddenly come towards the end of a sentence, paragraph or chapter, and can’t think of the next few words to tie everything together with.
In my case, the most common form of writer’s block that I experience often is when I simply don’t have any motivation to put my fingers on the keypad and start typing. It’s a horrible feeling, and it makes me just want to stare into space and do nothing.
Many individuals, whether they’re writers or not, have experienced a serious downturn in their mental wellbeing thank to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the fear of catching the virus and harming others. For writers, this can cause of compound writer’s block and make writing tough.
Also, when you can’t go out regularly and experience new things and meet new people, it’s hard to get new ideas. You might think that having a lot of time to think would push writers to get more ideas. However, imagination relies on inspiration, and being unable to go out and get it means that it can hard to think of shiny new ideas, especially if you’re writing for a living and need a regular supply of them.
Writing isn’t easy at the best of times, but during a global pandemic it’s even harder. Writer’s block is often made even worse by panicking and thinking about it; the worse your anxiety around it, the harder it is to write. In today’s uncertain age, where almost everyone has anxiety, writing’s a real challenge. As such, writer’s block can be really difficult to deal with.
Every writer is different, so it can be a challenge to find a technique that will help you to overcome your writer’s block. There are loads of different ways to get over writer’s block; many people I speak to often recommend getting up and walking away from your computer, and doing something completely unrelated to writing, like getting yourself a drink or a snack. When they go back to their computer, they often find that they can write again and feel that their minds are refreshed.
Personally, I have a couple of tried and tested tricks that help me. One of them is talking aloud to myself about the topic I need to write about, and then try to get them down on paper. Another is to read extensively for five or ten minutes, then try to get inspiration from that.
I also like to go for a walk; even if I can’t go to a new place, like a pub or bar, right now, and meet new people, a walk sometimes helps. Walking around, even areas that I already know well, can bring me some inspiration, or just wash the fluff out of my brain.
If none of that works then it’s easy to get frustrated, especially as I’m a professional writer, and without my skills I wouldn’t have a roof over my head and snacks in my tummy. I’m very fortunate, in that I’m usually able to overcome my writer’s block with a bit of perseverance, but there’s always a nagging doubt at the back of my mind that one day things won’t come back to me.
One thing that I think I, and all other writers who are struggling to produce new ideas at a rate of knots, need to remember that this is an incredibly tough time for everyone, and what we’re all doing is amazing. The writing community, both creative and corporate, is coming up with new ideas and crafting new art while the world is literally crashing and burning around us. Not everyone can write and create amazing content, but everyone needs it.
Art and writing have been the cornerstones of the pandemic and have held us all up during these trying times. That’s why book sales rose so much during the lockdowns. Everyone needed an escape from the drudgery of everyday life, and books were there for us. Remember that the next time you’re giving yourself a hard time for struggling.
4 thoughts on “Writer’s Block In The Age Of Coronavirus”
Podcasts became my best friend for inspiration, and documentaries on youtube. Anything that gave me insight into a topic I wasn’t familiar with, just so I was seeing something from a new perspective. It’s amazing what that can shake loose.
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Thanks for your comment: Podcasts are ace! I love audiobooks too! 😀
Such an insightful and relevant post. I definitely experienced writer’s block for my blog this past year because I get so much of my inspiration and content from actually doing stuff, which of course we can’t right now!
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