.So there you sit — staring at a glowing screen, a blank word document stealing the oxygen out of the room. You have just a thousand more words before the end of the day and it’s already an hour to closing time. Maybe the week got away from you or the ideas just haven’t leapt to the page as usual. Whatever the case, writer’s block is something that can be as enigmatic as it is obvious to cure! Here are a five tips for writer’s block!
Smashing Your Writer’s Block | Five Tips for Writer’s Block
Whether you’re in marketing, journalism, or you just write for fun, we all have those moments (or maybe many excruciating series of moments) when capturing the right words and ideas is as easy as holding the smoke in your hands. It doesn’t help when there are a series of other assignments ready to present a similar struggle. Writer’s block is never fun…Or maybe it is?
Here’s my first technique for eliminating writer’s block:
1. Indulge in Nonsense
Sure, you’re not going to want this to transfer into the ultimate execution of your work. However, sometimes it helps to simply write the first thing that comes to mind. It may not (and will likely not) be related to the serious topic you’ve been tasked to cover, but it may unfurl your subconscious mind enough to expose your real ideas.
Whether it’s just a matter of clearing away unwanted mental baggage or generating a false sense of accomplishment, writing nonsense is something that can be a quick solution to shifting your thoughts into the right gear. While I can see this working for the more nebulously minded of us, maybe you’re the type of person who just goes deeper into the self-doubt writer’s block produces.
2. Get Up and Move
Sometimes it just takes a bit of physical movement to redistribute the blood and really get those mental facilities up and running. If you have the ability, go for a brief walk, run, or do some light cardiovascular exercise to convince your body that things are different now and the masterpiece can ensue.
Believe me, staring forcefully into your computer monitor until words appear is rarely the best way to produce something you’ll be happy with. You may want to just get a little sunlight and breathe deeply into the void of existence before sitting down to write your problematic piece of work. Hopefully, that’s enough to let you reach the fruit of your creativity-orchard, but if not you may need a more directed approach. Getting up and moving is one of the most important tips for writer’s block, as it also will help with your overall wellness.
3. Find an Uncanny Influence
If you’re inspired by music, find something you’ve never heard before. Into the visual arts? Go glimpse interesting imagery just until the point where your mind’s eye is ready to see those words hitting the page! The point is this — find something to help you break out of your regular thought-patterns and stir up new ideas. Writer’s block may feel like you’re turning to stone at the bottom of the ocean, but if it never left anyone then humanity would have exhausted just about every great thought available. So far so good!
While it’s important not to waste time being a whimsical dandy just floating about, finding things you wouldn’t normally draw inspiration from can inform what you’d like to create, in addition to what you’ll want to avoid. The answers are out there, regardless of how elusive they are at this very moment. More or less, just take to mediums which aren’t your usual cup of tea and swallow them whole or smash the mug entirely — whichever is a more applicable metaphor.
4. What Would You Want to Read?
So up until this point, my advice has probably been pretty subjective. Perhaps you’re looking for that actionable, completely obvious way to destroy your writer’s block the “just say it already” takeaway point. And really that’s just it! Write exactly what it is you’d like to read yourself. Some people take entirely boring subjects, and through some alchemical wizardry, produce a relatively engaging piece because they’re genuinely interested in the content.
This can also translate to the fact that sometimes you’ll need a jump start on figuring out the exact content you’ll be writing. For this, I’d essentially recommend finding similar pieces and writing your own take on the matter, taking care not to lift anything directly. Plagiarism is still alive and well in our digital age! Think about who your ideal reader is and write for them. The worst case scenario is that you write too narrowly, but that’s fine if it gets the job done!
5. Time is Your Friend!
Sometimes you can use your deadlines to leverage your creative mind! I know what you’re thinking “that’s what has gotten us here in the first place.” However, maybe setting small incremental goals is just what you need to break down a larger task at hand. Give yourself an hour to get the topic or focus of your piece. Use the next hour to develop the outline. Before you know it, you’re adding that final punctuation mark and punching out for the day! (Side note: Time is an illusion of consciousness designed to present order in a relatively chaotic universe.)
The most difficult part for many with writer’s block is taking that first step into the unknown. You know, that swirling semantic tornado of uncertainty devouring the trailer parks and open prairies of your mind until inspiration is pulled from the rubble! Hopefully, this blog gave you your mental vacation needed to erupt with that next great piece of content! If not, you’re on your own — but I’m glad I temporarily convinced you otherwise! I hope you enjoyed these tips for writer’s block!