It happens to every writer at some point: writer’s block. You want to be able to come up with something fantastic, but you sit and stare at a blank screen or an empty piece of paper. You’ve had all these great ideas, but now there’s nothing that seems to be flowing to your fingers. When this happens to you, knowing how to overcome writer’s block can help to get the words flowing again. These tricks should help to get you started.
#1. Use a visual prompt.
Whether it’s a picture, a beautiful sunset, or time down at the local coffee shop, there are moments of inspiration that surround writers every day. The trick is to watch out for them. Sometimes you can find prompts on websites to be useful, especially if they have a photograph or brief description to help you start thinking. At other times, you might have to go somewhere new and just sit, watching people and listening to conversations.
#2. Start being creative in another way.
Writing might feel like a grinding job sometimes, but it really is a form of art. This means being creative in other artistic endeavors can help to provide the fuel needed to overcome writer’s block. Look at music composition, painting, photography, scrapbooking – any hobby that helps you be creative and help you find new writing inspiration.
#3. Take away your distractions.
Thanks to the number of connections that we all have with one another, the amount of distractions there are for writers today is enormous. Sometimes you have to shut down Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. You might need to shut off your phone for awhile. To drown out the outdoor distractions, you might consider putting on some headphones to listen to some ambient or classical music. This will help to solidify your focus into the writing you need to do instead of looking at 14 different things at once.
#4. Choose a different time to start writing.
Sometimes it just isn’t the right time to start writing. Instead of trying to force your writing time into a specific schedule, pick a time early in the morning to start off your day with writing. Maybe get up 30-60 minutes earlier than you usually do when the world is still kind of quiet to start writing. Or maybe you just need to let your ideas percolate for awhile longer before writing. There’s nothing wrong with doing that.
#5. Take away the fear of non-acceptance.
This tends to be the biggest issue writers face. There is a certain fear that their readers will not like what has been written. You’re putting yourself into a vulnerable position as a writer and not every writer receives acceptance. Since criticism is easier than ever to offer, some writers choose not to become writers because of this fear. Try to write for yourself instead of everyone else and this can help to remove a blockage that occurs in this area.
#6. Accept that your writing may not always be perfect.
Sometimes writer’s block occurs because you’re trying to create the “perfect” idea. There really is no such thing as perfect writing, unfortunately, though there are some writers who have come pretty darn close to it. There will be mistakes. There will be timing errors. There will be bad ideas that no one likes. This happens. If you can begin to accept this reality, then it will become easier to write more consistently.
#7. Do something non-creative for awhile.
If you’ve tried to be creative for awhile and that writer’s block is still solidly in place, then it’s time to do something non-creative. Exercise is always a good option because it puts your mind into a place where it can work on ideas. Reading a book keeps you within the world of writing. Go take a break and get some coffee. Wash some dishes. Play video games. Play with some Legos. Play catch with your kids. Go have some fun and then come back.
#8. Create a routine for yourself.
When your body is ready to write, then it is time to write. You can make this period of time more predictable every day by creating a routine for yourself. It may take some time to create some stability within the daily routine and interruptions will continue to happen, but you’ll at least have the desire to write and that’s half the battle.
Knowing how to overcome writer’s block often means finding a way to start moving. Movement and momentum will consistently take obstacles out of your way. Then, once you start writing again, that blockage will become a distant memory and you’ll be able to be creative once again.