It isn’t a question of “if” but “when”.
If you are a writer, it’s bound to happen.
That endless blank stare at the blinking cursor.
You simply can’t come up with a single word to type.
A little frustration begins to build up. And then it hits you…
Oh no! It’s the dreaded writer’s block!
Hey. Relax. Before you pluck all of your hair out.
It’s not all doom and gloom. Every writer has to shake hands with this monster once in a while, so you aren’t alone.
Actually, it’s your lucky day.
We’ve come up with 5 easy ways you can use to overcome writer’s block.
5 Creative Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block
1. Just Write. Anything.
Write for yourself – on your blog if you have one. Most times, you write with your audience in mind. Constantly wondering about your audience’s needs and the solutions you can provide for your readers can be a bit limiting.
Writing for yourself without any aspirations to publish allows you the freedom, to be honest, and authentic. Your inner critic will shut off and you’ll pour your soul onto the page.
What frustrates you? Why are you upset? What’s making you happy in this particular season? Explore these questions to encourage free-writing. Exercises like this will get the ball rolling and you’ll soon be on your way to banishing writer’s block.
Write in a notebook something you wouldn’t allow anyone to read. A confession, apology, crazy thing you did, a fantasy, or a dream you have.
Anything that you would consider for your eyes only, write it. You can burn or chew up the piece of paper once you’re finished. Morning Pages by Julia Cameron is a great tool to help you fight writer’s block.
Ever heard the adage “write drunk, edit sober”? Write anything that isn’t related to the project you’re working on. Try using BlindWrite for this process. Taking your mind off a work project and focusing on something completely different is a sure remedy for writer’s block.
2. Get Some Exercise
Take a nature walk – alone.
There’s nothing so refreshing as walking through a park or a quiet street. The sway of the trees, the chirping of the birds, the soft breeze on your face – form the perfect combination to galvanize your writer’s block.
Taking a walk alone gives you the golden opportunity to just be in your head.
You could opt for a brisk walk to increase your heart rate and keep the endorphins flowing. The legendary Charles Darwin was loyal to his daily walks. Some of his greatest breakthroughs struck while getting his steps in.
Walking has been scientifically proven to spark inspiration and boost creativity.
Consider taking a walk with a young child (definitely not an infant though). It could be your nephew, your daughter, or a neighbor’s kid. Armed with their simplistic views, children have a way of reminding adults that life is just not that serious.
You’ll realize that there’s no need to be so uptight. You’ll find yourself relaxing physically and even mentally as you engage with a fresh young mind. Plus, you just might cure your writer’s block in the process as you’ll be able to think with a rejuvenated brain.
Dancing is another fun way to exercise. Try yoga and stretch the tension out of your muscles. Or simply go for a jog. That increased heart rate will get your creative juices flowing.
3. Switch Up Your Writing Tools
iA Writer features a minimalist interface that delivers the essential writing experience you need to fight writer’s block. It allows you to cut out the noise, so you’re left with just you, your thoughts, and your words.
Sites like Medium and WordPress are also great platforms to try out. Writing on a different platform will bring a certain sense of “new”. The ensuing excitement can offer a refreshing boost to your writing.
Alternatively, you can opt for the old school pen and paper. It will feel fun and different after years of clacking on a keyboard. Ideas are more likely to flow when you make even minor changes to your usual writing routine.
As for your font? Change it up. You don’t have to use the default Arial font you’ve had since you bought your laptop.
That was me a few months ago. Until I switched to Century Gothic, then Calibri, and now I’m using Roboto. Believe me, it has made a whole world of difference! You’ll enjoy the writing process more, making you less susceptible to boredom and ultimately keeping writer’s block at bay.
Make shifts to your font size and color as well. Perhaps you’d rather type using the color blue. Give it a whirl!
4. Take a Reading Break
Before you read someone else’s writing, why not start with re-reading some of your old pieces?
Sometimes writers fall into the self-doubt ditch.
I certainly do.
This is especially likely when you compare yourself with other great writers. Evil little whispers that you aren’t good enough start to linger.
And this often contributes to having writer’s block.
Revisit some of your old pieces and you will be blown away by the depth of your writing. It will give you the motivation needed to write beyond your mental block.
You can also read a book. Don’t go for complex works. Instead, choose something easy on the eye and the brain. You don’t want to exhaust your mind any further. Read something funny like Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh or Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin.
Throw in some poetry or philosophy books as well. Poetry books like Leaves Of Grass by Walt Whitman and The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson will help you develop insight and empathy. Poetry is a treasure for personal growth and the emotional awareness it offers will be a great reset for your mind.
Engrossing yourself in someone else’s work is naturally inspiring and gives you a fresh outlook. Your writer’s block may just melt away in the process.
Magazines are a great alternative if you don’t feel like diving into a book. Relaxing and mood-boosting magazines like Breath and Live Happy are great for curing writer’s block. They will set you down the path of becoming the best version of yourself.
You don’t need to stick to inspirational magazines only. If you love fashion and lifestyle magazines, fill your boots! They’ll give you the boost of creativity you need.
You know that supportive friend you’re always promising to visit or meet up with?
Yes, that one.
This is the time to reach out. Call them and schedule a visit or phone call. You’ll thank me later.
Chatting and laughing with a good friend allows you to relax and refresh. It can be an opportunity to bounce some ideas around as well. You’ll recalibrate your brain and start feeling unstuck. Inspiration will flow the next time you power up your laptop.
Writer’s block? Goodbye.
Make sure the friend you reach out to is supportive and optimistic about life. The last thing you want is negative energy that may leave you more drained than you were initially.
Is there a wedding in the pipeline? An upcoming birthday of a loved one? Now’s the time to RSVP. Meeting up with old friends or family can be the best way to recharge and reset.
If there isn’t an upcoming event, just try your best to get a dose of human contact. You can choose to write from your local coffee shop. A change of scenery and the sight of human beings chatting away is bound to refresh you. It will work wonders to get you out of the writer’s block rut.
Refuel Your Writing Career
Writing doesn’t have to be cumbersome or boring.
Switch things up and see what works for you.
You can beat writer’s block.
You just have to keep writing. Even if it’s incoherent stuff, you can always edit later on.
Would you like to learn the habits and behaviors of successful online writers like yourself? This online course will help you to not only overcome writer’s block but also build a successful online career.
See you on the other side of bottomless writing, yes?