Beyond Writer’s Block: Yowling Creator’s Crunch

Beyond Writer’s Block: Yowling Creator’s Crunch

Are you tied up in knots? This is what creator’s crunch feels like. Writers experience it as “writer’s block.” Business people say they’re “stumped.” Artists just scream and call it “frustration.” Many blame their “muse,” sadly whining that it went on vacation. In reality, creator’s crunch is much more than simple writer’s block. It’s the block that we experience as a yowling creator.

You know you’re facing creator’s crunch, when you think or say:

  • “My muse is gone.”
  • “I feel stuck.”
  • “My ideas don’t flow.”
  • “The words just won’t come.”
  • “What’s wrong with me?”
  • “I can’t do this.”
  • “This is impossible.”
  • “I hate this!”
  • “#$!@%&!!!!”

Creator’s Crunch: More Than Writer’s Block

Sometimes we follow up immediately on that first thought floating into our mind like an innocent breeze on a spring day. But when it begins to blow like a hurricane, we stop because we can’t stand the mental confusion it creates. If the task at hand is assigned, we at least have something to help guide our thinking.

“creator’s crunch” = ideas/thoughts dam up and the creation stagnates

The problem starts when we try to conjure the invisible road to completion amidst the haze of competing thoughts. “How am I going to get there?” Even if we can visualize the steps, actually walking them out in the flesh can differ so vastly from our original expectations that we become discouraged. We begin to dread doing it or even thinking about it. The dream becomes a dungeon. The once bright idea becomes so undone that it seems to disappear.

The Yowling Creator’s Crunch Experience

Much of creator’s crunch comes when we have unrealistic, inhumane expectations of ourselves as creators. We might think everything should just flow from our brain in perfect order. If it has happened that way a couple of times, we can think it should happen this way every time.

But it doesn’t.

Regardless of culture, religion, gender, or race, we are all human and our human brain engages in a certain creation process. If we understand our creation process, our Yowling Creator’s Way, we can diagnose where we are and move forward.

Have you experienced creator’s crunch? Tell us about your yowling experience?


32 Responses to “Beyond Writer’s Block: Yowling Creator’s Crunch”

  1. Mayra R says:

    Yes I have experienced those feelings and even I visualized myself with my arms and legs twisted, as a face a new project or assignment but thanks to the yowling creator’s way I begin to understand that as the human body, animals and plants take time to grow, it is the same with projects or assignments. It is necessary to give time to our two sides of the brain to connect and dance together, being on the same step. This process takes time because the right side of the brain needs to take a trip into the road and explore, allowing it to be creative, then let the left side of the brain take part on the journey. Once both encounter it will be easier to take step by step toward the middle of those knots and begin to untied them.

  2. Ryan A says:

    I feel the Yowling Creator’s Crunch most when I am tired. I would much rather be taking a nap instead of writing, and I get frustrated that all I can think about is sleep. I like to take a nap before I start my work so i know I will be able to finish the task at hand in a reasonable amount of time without thinking of anything else but my creation.

    • Lisa Marie says:

      I’m right there with you on this one, Ryan. After many years of trying to push myself while exhausted, I finally tried a quick nap before working. I’ve found that I can double my productivity and do more in less time, when I’m rested.

  3. Madalyn Cortese says:

    Creators crunch is something I often find myself experiencing. I will sit down to start the task, such as a college essay, and end up stating at my laptop screen feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to even begin. Its not a fun feeling, it causes more stress. I feel that I am often so focused on the end and the finish that I struggle with forming paragraphs to get me to that point. It is frustrating and causes me to give up for the time being most of the time.

  4. Ethan Korb says:

    I find myself experiencing creators crunch all the time during my writing. Every time i sit down to start, I just feel overwhelmed with everything I know about the topic or everything that I do not know about the topic. It is hard to get every thing that is in my head down on the paper so that it makes sense to the reader. I always have so many thoughts whirling around in my head to be able to focus them all down on the paper.

  5. Alex Cabral says:

    I currently went through this same problem with my english paper. I knew my topic very well but I did not know how to organize my ideas and get it on paper. I run across my writer’s crunch when I am tired. The time where i notice my writers crunch occur the most is when I am half way through my paper because thats when I feel like I start to run out of my best ideas.

  6. Ysmara Sainz says:

    I feel this most when I am in the middle of my essay and I feel like I have nothing else to say. As if I said everything possible I could on that paper and I get frustrated because I only have 4 pages typed up and I need 6 just to meet to the requirement of the paper. But then I just walk away for a bit grab a bite to eat or play with my little sisters or if I am really tired take a nap and then wake up. After I am done doing one of those things I go back to where I left off and re read my essay and then I think “how did I forget this detail”. And then I fluff up my essay and it ends up becoming 8 pages. Longer than I expected.

  7. Ryan Webb says:

    Very often I find myself in a position where I am experiencing writer’s block. This mainly occurs when I am writing papers and I am more focused on recieving a good grade instead of focusing on writing about what I want to. This article provides me with methods to get past this creator’s crunch in future instances. I find it funny how I could relate to the common phrases because I have said every single one, more than once.

  8. Alexis Maldonado says:

    I always experience a creator’s crunch. I know what I want to say and I let the words flow but then it just stops. I get stuck and I do not know how to approach it. I get frustrated and want to give up but I relax and try to get my thoughts back on track.

  9. Kimberly M. says:

    I always get the crunch right when I start fleshing it out. I feel so confident in my outline or guiding light and brainstorming, but once it hits the computer- I freak out and crunch up. It takes me hours sometimes before I can start successfully writing things out…When I’m done, I’m happy with my work at least.

  10. Brittni Bigelow says:

    I feel creator’s crunch before I start brainstorming, researching, and writing certain papers. When I sit down to start organizing my ideas, my mind simply goes blank. I feel as if I cannot think of anything pertaining to what my assignment calls for. Creator’s crunch is a very real aspect of writing for me since I constantly am finding myself in a “stuck” with no direction of where to start. Once I get started, however, I am typically happy with my progress and usually love my end result.

  11. Kelsey LaTendresse says:

    I have experienced creators crunch. I feel like I have written out all I can, but it is not finished yet. Sometimes it will take me a few hours to get anywhere, or sometimes I just take a break to clear my mind. When I come back to doing the work or project, I usually have new perspective and that helps me. I just needed to look at it from a different angle and then I can produce good work.

  12. Fernanda Gutierrez says:

    Writer’s block is something that is unavoidable. It happens to everyone even when we do not want it to happen. My creator’s crunch happens when I try to write out my paper. I get frustrated when I cannot write out what is on my mind. What is on my mind sometimes does not come out on paper. This usually happens when I am really tired. At this moment I usually take a nap or take a shower. This will refresh me and let me conquer my creator’s crunch.

  13. Jonathan Schlitt says:

    There have been many instances where I get “writer’s block” and I have no idea how I will ever get my work done on time. It usually ends with me just walking away from the work because I get so frustrated. What I have found that has helped with me is going through your work one step at a time so that your brain does not get too overwhelmed. Setting small goals for yourself can help with your confidence in terms of getting all of your work completed. It also encourages you when you see all of the goals you have completed, even if they are small goals. This can help the overall flow of whatever it is you are working on.

  14. Patricia Rivera says:

    Currently right now, I’m writing a paper for my Exo/Deut. class. It’s due tomorrow and I have no idea how to write certain parts of the paper. I’m almost done with it, but I’ve hit a major road block in the way that I’ve been wanting to communicate my message. After a while, it just seems like I’m reiterating the same ideas over and over and over and over again and I have no idea how to make new fresh ideas. Maybe I just need a long break to clear my mind?

  15. Hailee Andrews says:

    I would say that i have experienced creators crunch more times than I would I like. It is not fun feeling like you have more things to do than you have time to do them. I find it helpful when I just come to terms with my conditions and stop dwelling on the fact that I have such little time. There is no time to waste in crunch time!

  16. Alexa Hobelman says:

    I have deffinetly experienced the creators crunch throughout many of my papers. It’s that moment when you are sitting at your desk and staring at a blank document on your computer. However, sometimes it happens midway through a paper. It is during these moments where I stop, and think about something completely different. I find that coming back to papers sometimes is the best way to get out of that mind block.

  17. Jaylene Land says:

    I myself have found that starting this research paper I have begun to find myself in a writer’s crunch. I have finished my very detailed outline but I have yet to find my flow into actually transferring my outline into a my full blown paper. I believe it has to be with me not giving the paper much attention and allowing myself to fully focus due to the amount of things that I need to get done. Definitely need to go to my spot and give myself the tie to write my paper!

  18. Christinah Uppal says:

    In the middle of studying for finals I have 3 essays for one class due. Trying to create and put them into form feels like an endless mass (scary void) of information that has overwhelmed me to the point of a mental block. I fear I do not have time to have a block with the fast approaching deadlines. This article helped explain the frustration I am feeling. How do I go about unwinding these knots?

    • Lisa Marie says:


      I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced this. In fact, I think I’m there with right now. What helps me is to break up my big tasks into smaller steps. Jotting down the smaller tasks helps me to view them as more manageable. Then I list about five smaller tasks on a post-it note and just focus on those as my “to-do” list. Even though I’m bouncing back and forth among the large things, I gradually make headway. Eventually, I finish what’s on the post-it note. Although I may not be finished, I can see the inches of progress. Then I create another post-it of small steps. If I have to put in a late night, then I take a break between post-its. I hope this helps!

  19. Chrissie C. says:

    I am currently in a crunch with my research paper. For some reason, I just cannot get the words out that I want to express and it is making no sense. As this happens a lot, I have realized it is time to take a break as my maximum focusing time is reaching its end. If I try to continue going and it gets later in the night that is when I realize I am no longer producing my best work. Leave it until the next day with a refreshed night sleeps and I’ll be back on track.

  20. damorye says:

    Always and Forever. This post is so me. Every time I go to actually start typing, even after I outline, it is so hard. I always think something needs to be changed or that something is not in the right order, or anything really. Papers in general are just hard to put down on paper for me. Making lists helps me so i’ll stick to that, plus I can track progress very easily that way.

  21. Sandra Funes says:

    Looking at the picture of the twisted branches, gives me an idea of how my brain looks right now. I have tried to write something, but nothing comes out. My ideas are fighting to free them self, and when that happens, my brain will be so ready that it will be hard to stop writing. Thank you for letting me vent my frustration, I can see that I am not alone.

  22. elena medina says:

    In the process of creation I feel frustrated when my ideas stack up and I can not write anything. When this happens I go back to my key thought that is to try to relax and start brainstorming again my brain to put it again to work usually our brain always appreciates this time when you are immersed in confusion that don’t let you to continue in the process.

  23. I often feel creators crush when begin to write. I’m currently working on a research paper and can’t seem to put words or thoughts together of what I have read. I have done my research and understood my reading, but I can’t seem to put things together In a paper.. I guess that’s a sign to stop and rest to continue later . What has worked for me is my personal self-care to clear my mind and start again fresh.

  24. Yes, I experience creator’s crunch all the time. The majority of the time I have many, many thoughts and ideas about what I would like to write; however, my brain freezes. So, by searching my “brainstorm” I am better able to organize my thoughts resulting in thoughts that flow in a much better order. Therefore, putting the anxiety brought on by the “crunch” to rest.

  25. Maria Elena Lopez says:

    I think that once I have experienced creators crunch, and it is one that is common. I can try to study as much as I an possibly do, read, practice but at the moment when it comes in doing what I was studying and practicing for I end up having and being in a state of shock. I get really emberassed and feel like a little girl who can o anything. But I try to take a deep breathe, each step at a time and just do what I have to do.

  26. Liza R. Rocha says:

    To start with I had never considered myself creative in any way, shape, or form. Secondly, writing for this class, is the most creative writing I have done in the last 30 years. Despite the fact that I am feeling very challenged to come up with original ideas to share in this blog. I am starting to feel some of that “satisfaction” at the end of a project, spoken of in an earlier blog article. Even if the project is as small as one paragraph. Also, recognizing what keeps me blocked (plans for and about my two jobs, thoughts about my other classes, or feelings about relationships in my life; including with my God) and learning how to put them on the shelf during my creation process has helped me greatly. Secondly, and more importantly, as I have spoken of in the blog article”Yowling Creator tips to help with Creative Quiet”. I am ecstatic to report that I have implemented one of your tips, and have found “putting my physical body at rest by stretching it out lengthwise” with a soft blanket and a clipboard has help me to break my “creators crunch.”

  27. Carmen Gutierrez says:

    When I feel crunch is when I feel super stress about school or working at the same time I just want quit sometimes but then I remember that I have a dream for which I work so hard everyday even though I struggle so much with everything I feel stuck at times, but then I remember It will be worth it at the end.

  28. Carmen Gutierrez says:

    When I feel crunch is when I feel super stress about school or working at the same time I just want quit sometimes but then I remember that I have a dream for which I work so hard everyday even though I struggle so much with everything I feel stuck at times, but then I remember It will be worth it at the end.

  29. Lupita Loeza says:

    Thank you Yowling Creator for the recommendation. I am starting to understand my creation process. I feel creator’s crunch at the beginning when I don’t know what to write, and I feel the same in the middle when I am stock. I am learning to stop writing when nothing comes from my head by taking breaks. Also If I am tired I have to take a 15 minutes nap because I have to be focus with a fresh mind.

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