The term “writer’s block” is a little misleading because writers are not the only creative professionals to suffer from this condition. In fact, artists, musicians, interior decorators, graphic designers, and so on, can all experience a block to their creativity, which can cause their work to halt.
This creative block can last only a few days or weeks, resulting in the blocked creative to abandon projects. Or, in more extreme cases, a block can last for years, causing a creative to abandon their careers. My longest block lasted for almost two years.
Most people think a creative block is simply due to a loss of inspiration. While this may be true, creative blocks can be caused by more serious and complex reasons.
Anxiety or Insecurity about Producing Inferior Work a.k.a. Fear of Failure
This can happen to any creative at any point in their career. The novice questions if their work is good enough to present to the world or if their work will be rejected. The established and successful creative wonders if their next work will measure up to what they produced in the past.
Lack of Experience in Unchartered Creative Methods
Anytime an artist is approaching a new genre or style of work, this stretch outside of methods known can be daunting and discouraging. It is always more convenient to reside in our comfort zone.
Mental Illness or Serious Life Circumstances
Depression, for example, can stifle your creativity, but the loss of a loved one or financial struggles can kill creativity as well. Sometimes these circumstances can be your creative fuel, but it can also drain all of your creative energy.
Lack of Passion in a Project
Many artists are forced to use their creative talents to pay the bills. Sometimes these projects are fun, other times, these projects can be so boring. I have sat behind my desk, slugging through freelance work, while my heart was yearning for work I was more passionate about.
This is a lesson I learned in the years I spent as a journalist. Research is our bread and butter. But when you try to cut corners by not doing due diligence, an article can become impossible to write.
There is never enough time in a day, especially when we need to buckle down and work on a project. A lack of time to nurture a project can stunt its growth.