Gentle Bamboo Solutions

On Writer’s Block and Burnout


The Writer’s Block is a phenomenon that is experienced by writers when they sit staring at a piece of paper (or a monitor) and have no clue what to write. It feels like the well of inspiration has died. That no more words can come out. Like all that the writer could write has been written. It is like staring at a barren field where no crops of wisdom can grow again. Like gazing at a river bed with no water flowing. A garden is empty of flowers and indeed plants or even grass. It’s like facing a wall with no way of going around it. You get the picture!

While the "writer’s block" is the more (in)famous one, this feeling of having exhausted all creative possibilities happens to most artists. Painters, musicians, dancers, teachers, coders – all creative types face this moment. That "moment", however, can last for minutes or for months.

I’ve been facing such a writer’s block for a while now. You’ve probably seen tons of spelling and grammatical mistakes in my writing the last week. I am aware of it but I’m trying not to get into the proofreading and editing mode, because that is sure to stop all progress. As long as the point is conveyed, I think it is acceptable to not try for perfection. The alternative is no writing at all, which is far worse. I have decided to continue writing something.

Even when no profound thoughts emerge, I have not stopped. There are many ways to handle it, but my way to tackle the block is to not stop, but instead keep moving, albeit slowly.

The Writer’s Block is a kind of faux burnout. But unlike a real burnout, it doesn’t need you to distance yourself from the task completely. A faux burnout needs you to keep up the momentum without pushing too hard. A real one needs you to stop the movement. The trick is to identify which is which.

Blocked, not burned out,