Updated: Apr 8, 2020
I have learned that most of what we think is a lack of inspiration, and the blockage is actually a form of burn out. Surprising, huh?
Are you a writer? Artist? Dabbler in the creative field?
If you are, then I know you put your heart and soul into your projects much as I do, and sometimes it can be an issue. There are times when you are ready to create something, and then the wall rises, and nothing breaks through the fog to magically make its way upon the page.
You draw, and you hate it. You write two lines, and you want to scream. Most of the time, instead of creating, we beat ourselves up for not being "Creative Enough," and it leaves you doubting yourself as a person who has that magical ability to bring imagination to the world of people freaking out and hoarding toilet paper.
Yup, I am also feeling the strain of crazy with the virus lockdown here in L.A.
All this crazy, leaves us asking one of these two questions.
When I finally find silent time to work on my illustrations, Why do I come up blank?
Why is it that when I am finally in the mood to write, I can't?
Well, I covered Fanfic Block Busting in my podcast for those of you who listen, but today, I want to dig deep into the WHY as opposed to the "how to break away."
Reasons Why Artists & Writers Experience Blocks.
Lack of Direction
Sucks, huh? YUP.. you are holding yourself in the block zone.
Frankly, most of it comes down to your plan. Do you even have one? Most of the time, we don't, and this leads us to second-guessing ourselves. This leaves us with a big vast space with no direction.
It's scary. Intimidating. But it's not something that can't be helped. I should know. I've been through countless writers and artist's blocks, and I discovered the truth.
It was my own damn fault.
So HOW can you identify the source of your block?
Let's start with the Artists.
Where do you find inspiration? Has the well run dry? ------ LACK OF DIRECTION
Are you trying to please someone else? Creating to sell? ------ ANXIETY & OVERWHELM
Lost the will to continue on your hyper fixation? No more joy? ------ BURN OUT
Too many ideas? Not sure where to start? ------ OVERWHELM
You want to be like "interest artist here" but don't know how! -- DEPRESSION & OVERWHELM
Hating your style of drawing. Feel it's never gonna get better. ------ ANXIETY & DEPRESSION
I will pretty much be repeating after these points. So what is it? Can you find someone to help you? Do you have a coach? A consultant? A friend in your corner slapping you in the backside for moral support?
Sometimes, all you have to do is step away. Do some self-work. Journal and talk to a friend to help you through it. We will cover some common ways to fix the art block in a future blog post.
Now it's time for the WRITERS!
Are you working without an outline? Where is the story going to end? ---- LACK OF DIRECTION
Are you writing for a company or something you know little about? ---- ANXIETY & OVERWHELM
Have you given every character the consideration of a backstory? ---- OVERWHELM & LACK OF DIRECTION
Have you lost interest in the story subject matter? ------ BURN OUT
Too many ideas? Not sure where to start? ------ OVERWHELM & LACK OF DIRECTION
Characters are not letting you tell the story - BURN OUT & LACK OF DIRECTION
You keep editing while you are writing instead of after. --- OVERWHELM & ANXIETY
The story is more of a chore than a joy. ------ BURN OUT & Possible DEPRESSION
In this case, Lack of Direction is both due to the need for research and plotting. Sometimes. Outlines are needed, but again. Like I said in the previous section, you can always talk these things through with a coach or companion who you can trust.
The truth most of us face is trust, and sadly, it's a real fear. Who can you talk to about the story and trust that they won't be ripping you off or taking advantage of you? Scary as it may be, these people do exist.
I have my own writing system and artistic system. It's one reason I love fan spaces so much. They help me keep going, and they keep me from falling into artist and writer's block.
(TBH, it's why I became a consultant and coach. I want to help people like those out there who helped me.)
If you find that you are still struggling, you can always reach out to me. I know many people who might be able to give you a hand in your research or matters of coaching and teaching.
Heck, I created a Facebook group to help people through their writers and artist block.
Plus, there is a membership forum on this website for creative people just like you. It's new and fresh, but it's there, and I hope the community grows so we can keep creating awesome stuff.
Hopefully, you found this entry helpful in identifying the reasons behind your blocks. Keep an eye out for ways to bust through these traps in future posts. Subscribe to the blog. You will get an email each time a new one uploads.