The Seven Stages Of Writer's Block
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The Seven Stages Of Writer's Block

"Writing about writer's block is better than not writing at all." - Charles Bukowski

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The Seven Stages Of Writer's Block
Antonio Litterio

Oh, writer's block. The bane of novelists and journalists alike. It gets especially annoying when your deadline is right here and you still don't know what you're going to write about. Did you know, though, that there are stages of writer's block? It's true. And each is more annoying than the last.

Stage One: Procrastination

Ah, procrastination. That "I've still got time, it's fine." feeling. The "An idea will come to me if I just wait" feeling. The YouTube/Wikipedia/Creepy Pasta rabbit hole that you never intended to go down. The season of Fuller House on Netflix you were saving to watch with your brother. You know that feeling. At the time, the first stage of writer's block isn't annoying, it isn't frustrating, it is not anxiety inducing. At the time, it may not even feel like writer's block, just the normal procrastination that every college student faces. Oh, but it is something far more sinister. It's the first stage of writer's block.

Stage Two: Determination

Much like the procrastination stage, the determination stage doesn't entirely feel like writer's block - yet. It is the "I'm just going to write and see what happens" feeling. And for a little while, everything you write seems like gold and (in your head) actually makes sense. At first, you feel like you're actually getting work done, but then things take a turn for the worst when you actually read what you just wrote. That's when you begin the spiral into stage three.

Stage Three: Disgust

You go back and begin reading that "pure gold" that you just wrote and... What is this? Does this even make any sense at all? Oh no, I have just wasted an hour on this total garbage. This is the stage of: delete, rewrite, rearrange, ew no, and repeat. This is also the first stage that really feels like writer's block and it is what gives you that frustrated, dejected feeling. Speaking of frustrated...

Stage Four: Frustration

Why. Doesn't. This. Sound. Right. When you enter into the fourth stage of writer's block, nothing sounds right, nothing looks right, to be honest, you may even find out that your facts aren't right. Just when you're ready to give up, you get a small wave of determination and you're back at it - only to repeat the last three stages all over again. Ah, sweet frustration. It nearly drives you to give up. But, you don't. Not yet.

Stage Five: Sadness

Once you pass through frustration, you arrive at sadness. The "I'm not even a good writer, how did I even get this job?" stage. It is absolutely heart wrenching and oh so annoying. This stage puts all of those negative thoughts in your head. In addition to thinking you're not a good writer, you start to despise anything you've written - present or past. Tears sometimes flow during this stage, that is normal.

Stage Six: Drained

In this stage, you feel as though you have nothing left to give. Any creativity that was driving you in the determination stage has gone dry and now you're just tired and sad. At this point, it's time to step away from the computer/pen/phone and take a break. You're only going to make yourself feel worse by sitting there and working yourself to a state of frenzy. Let your imagination tanks refill and focus on something else for a while. Even with your deadline quickly approaching, you'll do better after a break or a nap.

Stage Seven: Anticipation

After you make it through the first six stages of writer's block and you take your break, you come to the seventh and final stage: anticipation. Excitement. A fresh start for your novel/short story/article/whatever it may be that you are writing. The final stage is the best, it's the calm after the storm, the light at the end of the tunnel. When the creative juices start flowing and the pages just roll right out.

When you're in the middle of writer's block, it may feel like becoming a writer was the worst decision you ever made, but it will get better. Eventually.

Happy writing!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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