Sometimes the words just don’t come. Writers have days like that.
When writers get stuck in limbo, struggling to put two words together, they like to call the condition “Writer’s Block”. But, does it really exist? The term, coined by a psychoanalyst, Edmund Bergler in the 40’s is a label to identify the struggle and resistance that accompanies the creative processes of the brain.
Though we may have assumed it was all in the mind, physical processes in the body may be involved. If one is overstressed enough to cause the ‘fight or flight’ response, control of the brain moves away from the cerebral cortex to the limbic system. This is a problem for writers because creativity is associated with the cerebral cortex.
Modafinil is a nootropic drug commonly used to treat narcolepsy and help people stay awake while working night shifts. It is effective in the treatment of ADHD, sleep apnea, and cocaine addiction.
Unlike Adderall or Ritalin, Modafinil increases wakefulness by elevating histamine levels in the hypothalamus. That’s a great advantage, because histamine signaling is less susceptible to addiction-forming than dopamine signaling pathways.
Modafinil can be effective with the kind of writer’s block that involves lack of focus. It seems to work best with writing where there is a clear purpose such as college assignments, work reports, copywriting or sales letters.
Although there is the potential that it can lead to tunnel vision (where you can become so focused on what you are doing that you lose track of everything else), for many of us, that might be what it takes to finish that important project or wrap up that assignment that’s been looming overhead.
However, it’s important to “choose your battles” and not get focused on something that’s irrelevant. Modafinil can cause us to be extremely goal-oriented. That’s a good thing when you want to “get ‘er done”.
Modafinil can help dispel your Writer’s Block to get those words flowing again —like Niagara Falls.