When you’re a writer, be it for work or pleasure, there’ll be a time when you just cannot proceed. You’ll be stuck staring at the blinking cursor on your page. You’ll be typing words and deleting them, you won’t just be able to carry on the flow with which you generally write. The entire process will be stuck at a standstill and it can get very frustrating. This wall you come across is called the writer’s block. It happens to the greatest of writers. Although you might be able to find your way through this on your own when it happens, there are certain things you could do to tackle this problem to see your way to the otherside. Here are a few tips you could use when it comes to dealing with a writer’s block:
1) Take a break from what you’re writing and do anything else creative
Do anything creative. Draw, paint, build something, write poetry, cook a nice meal. The key is to keep exercising the creative part of your brain and eventually you’ll tap back into the flow of writing. This is one useful tip when it comes to combating a writer’s block and it works for many. When you’re being creative, you’ll get back the flow of writing and maybe be able to continue things from where you left of as though nothing had really happened.
2) Simply take a break
If you think it’s a possibility that your writer’s block might be stemming from exhaustion, try simply taking a break. Your mind might simply be exhausted from working every last bit of information housed in it. Try to get a good night’s sleep or even take a day off to let your mind replenish itself and then get back to writing your content. You might notice a vast difference in your ability to write when you’re overworked and when you’re relaxed.
3) Do something to get your blood flowing
Going for a run is helpful. So is going to the gym and working out. Lifting weights, cardio, both helps. Playing a sport is immensely useful as well. Not only is it an immersive experience, it’s often a really good workout. Do whatever you can to get your blood flowing. The blood circulation would be good for your mind and it would help you think better. Personally, I’ve noticed even pacing up and down a room works.
4) Eliminate distractions
There are going to be all kinds of distractions when you sit there, ready to write. To write effectively, you need to keep your mind as focused as you can. Minimizing all distractions will help. Turn off your phone, take a break from email, keep your workspace tidy and set aside a period of time each day to write. Ask friends and colleagues not to interrupt you during these writing periods, and you might get through the writer’s block with ease.
5) Do free writing
Spend some time a day writing whatever comes off the top of your head. Punctuations don’t matter. Just write freely. Allow it to be totally random. You can change subjects as many times as you want. You might mix genres. The process trains your brain to tap into the words inside your head and gives them a place to live on your computer screen or journal. This might help you unlock your flow through the writer’s block
6) Don’t strive for perfection
Don’t waste time hoping for your first draft to be absolutely perfect. Just keep writing. “Perfection” can be achieved in later stages while fine tuning it. Once you take the pressure off yourself, your creation process will become easier. You can rewrite, edit and refine later.
7) Just keep writing
If you’ve tried the above methods and they don’t seem like they’re working, try Maya Angelou’s “just write” strategy. Writing is like a sport or an art where one gets better only with practice, so it makes sense to simply push yourself constantly to produce material whether you like the end result or not. Just force yourself, just write. As we have seen, many authors argue that inspiration will only come if you push yourself to keep putting pen to paper each day. She explained in her book, Writer’s dreaming:
“I suppose I do get ‘blocked’ sometimes but I don’t like to call it that. That seems to give it more power than I want it to have. What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’ you know. And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’”
The reunion with your muse might seem impossible at times, but don’t give up. You’re a writer. You can break the walls of this writer’s block and brave through. Follow the above tips and you’ll be on your way to finishing your masterpiece in no time. Whenever there are blocks, go right through them. Happy writing.