Seven Causes of Writer’s Block – And A Cure

Posted on October 24, 2012 by Tom Evans

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Block is painful, as anyone who has suffered it knows. Our resident wizard of lightbulb moments, Tom Evans, kicks off a series about seven possible causes of writers’ resistance or block — and offers a cure.


The concept of writer’s block has almost entered urban myth as something that all writer’s are obliged to suffer from at some point other in their career.

It’s like sport’s people suffering a hamstring injury or being afflicted by tennis elbow.

For a writer, it can either manifest as their Muse leaving them completely, so they don’t even feel like writing, or perhaps their current output just not quite flowing like the last.

Over the years, I have lost count of the number of cases of writer’s block I have dealt with. I have also been afflicted with it myself so have been there and got the t-shirt.

In every single case that I have encountered, the writer’s block is a symptom of a deeper malaise. What is playing out is a life block posing as a disruption to the creative flow. When we deal with the underlying issue, both our lives and our writing take on a whole new magical quality and we become unstoppable.

I have come across seven types of blocks and will be exploring how they come about and how to deal with them over the coming weeks on this blog. Writers can suffer from a combination of these blocks at any one time. Clearing them can sometimes be like peeling layers off an onion until the real nub of the issue exposes itself.

The first step in dealing with our blocks is to recognise their existence. If any of this list resonates (or grates) with you, then you are on the first step of the road to recovery.

The seven causes of writer’s block I have come across are:

  1. Fear of ridicule
  2. Fear of failure
  3. Fear of the unknown
  4. Fear of success
  5. The notion of lack of talent
  6. The notion there is not enough time
  7. Being out of sync with natural rhythms and creative timings

Each of them has an underlying cause and I am sure you can imagine how many of these blockages can be seeded in childhood. Only later in life, when we attempt to unleash those books trapped inside us, do they percolate to the surface again and become tiresome.

Another form of Blockage that Afflicts some Writers

I have also experienced and noticed another form of blockage that afflicts some writers once they have written and published their works. This somewhat insidious block often prevents them from marketing and promoting their work. You can think of it as being Author’s Block.

As it happens, the way to deal with it is pretty much the same for writer’s block, as you will see.

As this is my inaugural blog on this creative platform, I feel I cannot just talk about this issue without giving something by way of immediate succour. So if something is holding you back, have a listen to this short visualisation called Becoming Fear-less. It does what it says ‘on the tin’.

listen to ‘Becoming Fear-less’ on Audioboo

P.S. You will see I am fond of additional hyphens as they add a certain additional en-lightenment from time to time.

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  1. Pingback: Lacking Talent? | The Go Creative! Blog

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