Writing Mistakes that Lead to Writer’s Block

Have you ever suffered from a talker’s block? Do you refrain from talking for days because you feel you don’t have anything important to say? Do you ever wait for the stars to align before you talk?


Then you don’t have a writer’s block either.

If we have something to say, we have something to write as well.

Talking is less consequential (at least that’s what we think). Whereas for writing, our perceived stakes are higher — what can be seen, can be criticized.

Other than fear of criticism, there are 4 mistakes we make before sitting down to write that cause “writer’s block”.

Mistake #1: Starting from a blank page

Creativity in its essence is nothing but combining existing ideas and perspectives to form new ideas. Without any preconceived ideas, outline, notes, or some form of background material, writing becomes more challenging than it should be.

What you can do instead —

Build a note taking system. Make it a point to summarize in your own words every piece of content you consume — this includes articles, books, podcasts and videos. 5 minutes spent recording the crux of your creative inputs can save you hours of staring at a blank screen waiting for words to come.

Mistake #2: Giving yourself too many options

In our minds, we all have hundreds of revolutionary life changing ideas. But writing about all of it is exhausting and often impossible. Lack of clarity and indecision is a major reason behind procrastination.

Giving ourselves too many options can be paralyzing. I learned the hard way that committing to an average idea is better than wondering about “all the other interesting ideas” you could be writing about.

What you can do instead —

In the beginning, it’s helpful to write about any idea that comes easily to you rather than trying too hard to find a niche. But before starting each writing session decide clearly what you’re going to be writing about. Don’t use your writing time for analyzing or researching different topics.

Mistake #3: Striving for perfection

No matter how perfectly you craft a piece of writing, there’s always scope for improvement. Improvement comes from making mistakes, getting feedback and implementing the lesson next time when we write. Yet, we try so hard to create a perfect content that we end up creating nothing.

What you can do instead —

Don’t write to sound smart, write to clearly communicate an idea. Don’t write to shine, write to learn. Treat yourself as a learner, not an expert. This way you’ll take the performance pressure away.

(Here’s a two minute guide to get over perfection mania and get your writing done on time)

Mistake #4: Not having a strict routine

If you don’t have a routine that you make yourself follow, you’ll always have “more important” things to do. For months I avoided writing by doing laundry, organizing my room, and even staring at the wall when it was time to write. Don’t be me and have a routine.

What you can do instead —

Focus on just showing up at your desk. If you’ve decided to write daily for 30 minutes, be at your writing spot at that time. No distraction. It doesn’t matter if you write one word or 1000. Just show up and don’t leave your desk until your timer rings.

When your mind understands that it doesn’t have a choice but be there at your desk for the next 30–60 minutes, chances are it will soon start generating words.

Writer’s block could be a myth or a real challenge. But like every challenge it’s only as difficult as your mind makes it to be. Write more. Create more. Focus on quantity first. Quality will follow.



Creator of The Redefined Self — a place to read, write, breathe. Hub for new writers to find inspiration, guidance and resources to live a mindful creative life

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Sudeshna Roy

Creator of The Redefined Self — a place to read, write, breathe. Hub for new writers to find inspiration, guidance and resources to live a mindful creative life