How to Tackle Writer’s Block
Posted on August 15, 2017
Just when you’re racking your brains for the perfect story or you’re trying to come up with words for your essay, you come up blank. That's happened before and it’s an all too common problem. Writer’s block – the bane of every writer’s existence. Deadlines are creeping near and your article or story is nowhere near completion. What do you do?
There are many tips that we have on hand so that you can turn this phase of creative stagnancy into something that can help you come up with a better and brighter piece. These are all suggestions that have worked for many people in the past, and hopefully, you’ll find that your writer’s block is soon a distant unpleasant memory.
Take a Break
Perhaps this is your body or your brain telling you to take a break. Many times we face writer’s block when we are under pressure to deliver something, and that pressure can sometimes be too much. You can keep staring at your laptop screen, keyboard or even a notepad, but when you feel that your mind is an utter blank, take a break. You can choose to:
Go for a Walk
Being outdoors can be a breath of fresh air to your overworked mind. Take in the nature around you, try to keep your mind free of worries and soon you’ll find that you are ready and raring to write when you come back to your desk.
Go for a Run
Your body releases endorphins when you exercise and this in turn helps memory and cognition. In fact, many studies have shown that running produces similar results in brain activity as meditation.
Listen to Music
Music helps to calm you and heal you in many ways that cannot be absolutely explained. Listen to a soothing ballad, instrumental or even your favorite pop songs. Try to choose music that soothes you, instead of ones that agitate you. After a while you will feel relaxed and in a better frame of mind to start afresh.
Meditating helps to calm the mind and relax the body. This would be a great way to give your mind a mental break as well.
Sometimes you just need to let go. That means you don’t conform yourself to a set of rules or guidelines. At times, when you are working on a book, thesis or just a simple story, you have to follow a certain layout and you can find yourself at a dead end. Just take a step away from whatever you are working on and start scribbling. After all, writing started with a pen at your fingertips. Forget the keyboard and scribble your heart away – it could be today’s thoughts, something that has been on your mind or even a totally different idea. Who knows? This could be the start of something new.
Read your Favourite Book
Perhaps you’re stuck for ideas. Pick up a book and read. This is not only therapeutic, but it will also give you new ideas that you can somehow incorporate into your own work. Perhaps you can pick up books that have a similar subject to the one you are writing, or a topic close to what you are researching and writing about – It’s all about research.
Talk to a Friend
At times, a close friend is what we need. Not being able to write is a problem, and either you need a distraction or a willing ear to hear you out. Either chatter about what’s the news doing the rounds, or find out what a friend has been up to. Getting caught up in real life news can be a great way to get your mind off your writer’s block.
Try a Change of Medium
Do you mostly type? Then switch it up and take up a pen. Use pens all the time? Try a crayon, calligraphy, even a white board marker. Anything that gets you out of your comfort zone.
Cook Something Different
Get your creative juices flowing as well as feed your tummy. You can only work as much as your appetite allows you. Have you ever noticed that you come up against a brick wall during writing when your stomach is growling? Perhaps take a break from the mundane and search for a recipe you’ve always wanted to try out but never had the time.
What you should not do:
We’ve spoken of all the ways you can try to overcome writer’s block, but there are certain things you should definitely avoid.
It can get tempting to just throw your pen away and say that you won’t sit down to write unless your creativity comes back. If you don’t do something to help yourself, you could end up waiting quite a while, and that deadline won’t be going anywhere soon. Pro-activeness helps you more than refusing to write.
It is known as the ‘Idiot box’ for good reason. You will be flooded with mindless shows that do nothing to stimulate your imagination. When you find you have writer’s block, do anything, but never sit down in front of the TV. You’ll find that hours can easily pass by, with no productivity.
Feel sorry for yourself
It’s a human tendency to start wallowing in self pity, but this is not a healthy or constructive way to overcome writer’s block. You may think ‘Why does this happen to me, maybe I don’t have the talent...’ We’ve all been there, but this is the wrong direction to take. Think positive and don’t allow your mind to wander into negativity and self pity.
Yes, it’s tempting to give in and do everything else around you but write. Chores can take up your time, even simple things can occupy your mind, but you must stick to a sort of schedule so that you don’t forget your deadline. Organize your day, so that you know where you are in your work, and your different priorities in life. Being organized is key to getting things done.
You may think that you’re in a tough spot – but many writers have faced this at some point in time, and judging by their books, they managed to overcome it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so neither should you expect magic from your mind and fingertips all the time. Be human, be wonderful and be creative.
The Downsides of the Gig Economy and Portfolio Careers