You’re staring at a blank screen or empty paper, whichever and nothing is happening. Your hands are lifeless, the brain is numb and you can’t get yourself to write down anything. Don’t panic. You’re not losing your knack for writing. You’re just experiencing a writer’s block.
Many, if not all, great writers go through writer’s block. Writer’s block is when your creative juices come to a halt. You can’t seem to come up with new or good ideas and each time you try to write, blockage.
Now, there can be more than one reason as to why this is happening. However, it’ll pass, just like everything else in life. Here are a few tips to help you get through this. First…
Why is this happening?
Why can’t you write? It can be pressure or stress. Your mind is elsewhere or you’re having problems that are keeping your mind occupied. To write, you need a clear mind with the right mindset, when your mind is too fuzzy with other concerns, it’s not helping.
During the first draft you can get away with a “good enough’ version. However, when you write your next few drafts, your script has to get better. The process gets harder the closer you get to your final draft. —
Fear is the number one reason for writer’s block. You put your all into your writing, so to expose that to everyone to read and criticize can be intimidating. This can also lead to procrastinating, constantly putting it off so it eventually never happens.
Lastly, worrying if it’s good enough. You want everything to be perfect, just like you imagined it. You’d waste too much time outlining, planning and doing research and keep delaying the actual writing.
Helpful tips to fix writer’s block
- Do other creative activities. Think of other things you can do like painting, doing DIY projects, writing poetry or music, playing an instrument and more. Do anything else other than working on your main project. I personally like to write music for a change. This will mostly help your creativity side stay wired and maybe help create ideas for writing.
Go for a walk. Get your mind off writing by going on a walk whether indoors or outdoors. Studies have proven that doing so will increase your creativity by 60% because this will tap into your deeper state of mind and provide you clarity. Other exercises like running, aerobics, yoga, or dancing will help you focus and boost your energy.
When your brain shuts down, get up and go for a brisk walk. The change of atmosphere may generate new ideas while the walk will get more blood flowing through your brain. — Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D.
Coffee is your best friend. There is nothing better than the aroma of freshly brewed coffee every morning. Coffee helps you stay focused when you’re in the zone and when on breaks, helps you brainstorm ideas to get back to writing. Sometimes, all you need is a good cup of Joe to get the flow through your fingers.
Write anything, anything at all. Whether it’s an idea, a thought, an emotion or simply scribbling randomly, write it down. Try to do this for around 15 minutes just to get your mind on paper. You need to make writing part of your daily routine, even if it’s just random words being written. It may help evoke new ideas for you to work on.
Take a break. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It can even be just a short road trip. Go do something new with a group of friends like hiking. Keep your mind off writing for a while and just relax and have some fun.
A change of scenery. Sometimes all you need is a different setting to get the wheel going. Instead of your usual desk at home, try heading out to a café, the nearest Starbucks or the library to write. Just being in a different environment and seeing new faces can help.
Certain life events—such as becoming a parent, taking a job, or moving—naturally inspire new thoughts and wishes. Let your mind wander, and imagine ways you would like to be in this stage of your life. — Nicole S. Urdang, MS, NCC, DHM
Work on other projects: This personally works for me. Sometimes when I’m too focused on my main project, I get too stressed and can’t do anything at all. So I try working on other projects. It can be another novel idea, a poem, a short story, journal entry or even a blog post. Just exercise writing in any way. This will keep you in writing mode, keep your brain active and boost your imagination.
Read a book. Reading can definitely help out! Not only does reading improve your writing skills but it will be a good chance for you to get into another world for a bit and maybe come out with some inspiration.
Getting over writer’s block isn’t a walk in the park (well, actually, I guess it is sometimes) but it can take one or all of these tips to get through this. But the point is, you will get through this. So go, get up, try out these few tips and get back in the game!