Writer’s block is one of the most frustrating experiences any writer must deal with on a regular basis. It stops creativity. It limits productivity. It can leave you sitting in front of your computer or typewriter with a blank page and a desire to eat potato chips.
The first step is to accept that writer’s block can happen to even the best writers. If you’re able to establish good writing habits, however, then you’ll be able to start knowing how to deal with writer’s block. What are good writing habits?
- Try to write at the same time every day.
- Write in a quiet space.
- Create a dedicated environment that is reserved only for writing.
You can also take these additional steps to kick your writer’s block to the curb for good.
#1. Create outlines for your work.
If you are facing writer’s block, then there’s a good chance you’re not sure what you should be writing about. Having an outline available to you can limit these moments of uncertainty from the writing experience. Taking the time to create an outline if you are unable to write still counts as writing, so switch tactics and you may find it becomes a lot easier to take a detour around the obstacles that are in your way.
#2. Write something else.
If you’re struggling to write something specific, then switch gears. Start writing about something else and then come back to your previous project after a little time has passed. Being creative inspires more creativity, so you may find that there are more ideas available to you after you’ve been writing about a different subject. If you don’t have another project to work on, then create one. If you don’t want to create a new project, then spend 15 minutes freewriting about anything. It will help.
#3. Engage in another creative activity.
Sometimes writers just get burnt out from the writing experience. You can only sit in front of a blank page for so long, you know, even if you are good at filling it up with words. Think about taking about another creative hobby that you can do during your off-times from writing. Photography, painting, drawing – anything that encourages creativity will help to enhance your future writing efforts and limit writer’s block rather effectively.
#4. Get up and take a walk.
Some of the most prolific authors in history have certain habits in common with one another. One of the most common tidbits of advice is for a writer to go take a walk somewhere if writer’s block has come along. James Patterson takes a daily walk at a local golf course. John Grisham has worked with his church and coaching Little League. You can get active in some way as well and this will help to unlock more creative ideas than you might imagine.
#5. Limit the distractions.
How many tabs do you have active in your internet browser right now? The average person has 6 tabs open. It’s probably your email, Facebook, maybe Twitter, and probably three articles you want to read at some point. You’ve got to shut this stuff down. You might even need to turn off your phone. Unless you’re a “super-tasker,” any distraction can prohibit your creativity for up to 15 minutes. Emails can wait. You can review Facebook updates while you’re doing something else. Let your writing time be for writing only.
#6. Find a single point of focus.
This can be done in a variety of ways. Many writers like to listen to music or use meditation sounds as they write so their mind can stay focused on individual thoughts. If your brain is a jumble, then writer’s block happens because it needs a little time to organize itself. Figure out what helps you focus and then make it part of your writing environment.
#7. Eliminate the chance to procrastinate.
Set deadlines for yourself. Having a tight deadline can help writers find inspiration in many different and unexpected ways. Make sure there is some sort of reward for meeting a deadline, but there must also be a consequence if a deadline is missed for some reason. If you can stop procrastination, you’ll be able to stop one of the most common forms of writer’s block that occurs.
Knowing how to stop writer’s block is a very personal experience. Be honest with yourself as you evaluate your writing habits. Make changes where they are needed so you can stay productive. When you can follow these ideas, you’ll find that it will become a lot easier to find the right words to say.