I write one of these every few years. There is another on the site: 10 Techniques on How to Break Writers Block. That article talks about writing techniques you can use, and this article is a little more about mental techniques, or other things you can do to overcome writers block. It’s so common for writers to develop this problem. It doesn’t last forever. Hang in there, and try the techniques below.
Writer’s block is something that can be discouraging to anyone. No writer wants to be in a position where your mind goes blank in the middle of your writing. It hinders ones progress and can be great source of turmoil to so many. As a writer your greatest tool should be your mind and once that thought process ceases due to something like a lost concentration, it can be scary. Since this is something that happens to most writers, there is no need to worry. It’s how you deal with the situation that determines whether you emerge on the other side stronger or not.
Reasons for your writer’s block
Your writer’s block can be caused by a number of reasons including:
- Timing – at times you may feel as if it is just not the right time to write. Your ideas may not be cooked enough hence you need a little bit of time to stew things up.
- Fear – a common problem with most writers is that they tend to struggle with being afraid when it comes to organizing their ideas. You fear that once you put your idea out to the public, you might end up being criticized for the same. This is a major reason why most writers fail to achieve success from writing.
- Perfectionist – as a writer you might be in a situation where you want everything to be right and then you end up trying too much. The more you try to get things right in your head before putting it to paper can end up creating a writer’s block.
Whenever you are going through a writer’s block, there are a few tips that can be implemented to help you jump-start your thought process.
- Give it a break
One of the best ways to approach this predicament is for you to step away from the torture. Stop thinking so hard, and do something creative. Consider painting, designing some images in Photoshop, doing a bit of poetry or anything that will spark the creativity in you. Do this for a couple of hours before you get back to your writing, it will do you a great favor. The key here is to keep your mind active by exercising its creative side. You’ll eventually get your break through.
- Freewriting can help
Practice at least 15 minutes a day writing whatever it is that comes into your mind. Do not be hard on yourself, you can ignore punctuation and just write freely. Make it as random as possible. What this process will do for you is train your brain to tap into the word, and bring them to life in journal. Do this for a week and then go back to your writing.
- Get your body moving
Try dancing, Tai Chi or practice a bit of yoga. In as much as this sounds rather funny, it will work wonders for you. By moving your body, you’ll also get your mind flowing. While at it, meditate and take long and deep breaths, get your blood flowing. Get your mind open to ignite its imaginative powers.
- Get rid of distractions
Distractions are a major hindrance to any writer’s progress. If you find yourself in such a scenario, try turning off your phone and unplugging from the internet. Get your workplace cleaned up by getting rid of all the clutter that puts your mind in some form of confusion. Talk to your loved ones to give you space when you start writing.
- Write during morning hours
This is the time that your mind is creative enough. After a good night sleep, schedule your writing for morning hours when your brain is still in Theta mode. According to a number of famous writers, the best writing time happens during morning hours at around 4:00 or 5:00 am. You might be half a sleep but you’ll be amazed by what your mind comes up with.
- Practice writing while you sleep
Did you know that your subconscious mind is always problem solving even when you are asleep? Try writing even for 15 minutes before bedtime. This way, when you get stuck, you can think about that chapter as you sleep. As you’ll waking up the following day, you’d have come up with a solution.
- Explore the different writing tools
Technology can help you overcome your writer’s block by providing you with different writing tools. Sometimes if you are not comfortable with these tools, the difficulties with them, could cause your writers block. Try switching from Microsoft Word to Google Docs or even consider typing directly on WordPress and writing it out by hand. For many people, this might sound silly but trivial changes have the potential of making your writing interesting again.
- Go on a short trip
If you are missing anyone, this is the time you want to go visiting them. Avoid driving, instead, hop on a bus or take plane. To make things even more interesting, challenge yourself to writing a short post just before you arrive. Write throughout the journey until you arrive.
- Write from different places
Changing your sitting arrangement can help you deal with your writer’s block. Besides that, you might want to consider taking a break and going on a trip in a bid to change your place of writing. Try writing from the park, a local Starbucks or going to the library.
- Begin from the middle
Trying to come up with a perfect introduction can consume a lot of your time and put you in a writer’s block. It can greatly obstruct your writing process. Start writing from the middle and leave the introduction for later.
Do not allow your writer’s block to be a major speed bump, apply any or all of the above tips to your writing to help you overcome this minor hurdle.
Julie Petersen is a freelance writer, blogger and a language tutor with 4 years of experience.