A time comes, when as a writer, you can’t help but stare at a blank screen. You don’t feel inspired to write anymore, yet you’ve got a lot of work waiting to be written.
This state is known as a writer’s block, and it happens to all writers at any time. Are you experiencing a writer’s block? Don’t let it discourage you because it’s straightforward to overcome that.
In this article, I’ll share practical tips on how to overcome writer’s block.
- Pause the writing and attend to another creative task
- Eliminate distractions
- Get moving
- Write when you’re half-asleep
- Take a shower
- Change your writing tool
- Set deadlines and stick to them
- Have a writing schedule
- Find out what’s causing the writer’s block
- Reconsider the writing space
- Take a short trip
Paint pictures, make a collage or scrapbook, design photos in Canva, or go to the garage and build something (if you’re masculine). Set aside a few days or hours to work on a different creative project and then go back to writing.
Switching to other projects has a way of activating your creativity. The idea is to continue exercising your brain’s creative part until you tap back to the writing flow.
Spend at least 15 minutes per day writing what comes into your mind. While at it, ignore things like punctuation and write freely and randomly.
You may change the subjects you write on as much as you want. This process helps to bring words from inside your mind, so they become alive in your journal or computer screen.
You may free-write for a couple of days before getting back to your writing work or free-write for about 15 to 20 minutes to get the thoughts flowing and then quickly go back to writing your article or book.
A cluttered workplace may throw your mind into confusion. That’s why you need to turn off your smartphone and disconnect from the internet.
Set aside three to four hours for writing and ask your loved ones to give you space so you can write uninterruptedly. The other option is to write when everyone else is asleep. Being in solitude provides more focus.
When you move the body, the mind begins to flow, as well. So, you can start dancing or practicing yoga. The other option is to take a walk or even jog.
Physical exercise improves circulation, making your mind more relaxed and open. It’s a perfect way to enhance your creativity.
Ever heard of the theta mode? That’s the brainwave pattern your mind is usually in when you are dreaming. If you wake up at around 4:00 to 5:00 am to write, you’ll be truly amazed at what you can accomplish because your brain is still in this state.
Have you noticed the best ideas usually come when you are in the shower or when doing a ‘mindless’ task? Well, scientifically, when you’re doing something monotonous, like cleaning, showering, or cycling, the brain goes on autopilot, setting the unconscious loose to wander without being confined to logic.
In other words, you can daydream and make creative connections that you could have hard to reach through the conscious mind. You can rinse and repeat until you get rid of the writer’s block.
A change of scenery can be a writer’s blog cure. But that doesn’t imply you should always change the location. At times, you only need to change your writing tool.
If you’ve been using your favorite word processor, you may want to try a pen and paper. If your pencil and notepad don’t make your writing flow, you can switch to writing software, such as Reedsy Book Editor, yWriter, FastPencil, FocusWriter, and more.
Valuable advice on what to do when you have a writer’s block is to seat deadlines. Most writers can’t easily set deadlines and follow them. That’s why you may want to work with an accountability partner to help you stick to deadlines.
When you know someone else is looking up to you for results, you’ll work hard to produce material. Joining writing classes or groups can also help you fix writer’s block.
Another strategy for overcoming writer’s block is to set a specific time for writing. Choose a preferred time of the day (most prefer mornings), show up to start writing, even if words don’t come out immediately. When your body gets used to showing up at the same time and location daily, your mind and muse will follow suit.
Graham Greene is famously known for writing 500 words a day. He disciplined himself to write only 500 words each morning. By 67 years, Greene had written 25 novels.
Sometimes, there could be underlying issues for the writer’s block. Whether the cause is related to your writing project or something else, you need to know what it is.
You may want to talk to one of your friends, particularly one that writes. You can study the lives of famous writers to find out why you are blocked. If the writer block continues for weeks or months, you should consider counseling. Most therapists help writers, and other artists reconnect with creativity.
Do you find it comfortable writing from your chair and desk? Is the space well-lit? If you usually write from home and maybe there are distractions from family or guests, you’re not going to be productive.
It’s prudent to find a different writing environment. You could use the coffee shop or co-working space, for example. Think about finding a favorable atmosphere you can enjoy writing from.
Haven’t you seen your family for eons? Got a buddy you haven’t met in a while?
But don’t drive. Instead, hop on a plane, a train, or a bus that will take you there. Now, decide to write a short story until you arrive.
My advice: leave the laptop or iPad at home. Instead, go with a pad of paper or a mobile phone.
There you have it, 12 ways on how to get over writer’s block. Implement one or combine some of these strategies and go with what works for you.