Writer’s block. The plague of anyone who works with words. It can happen when you’re doing school work, college work, writing something academic for work purposes, or if you’re writing a novel, blog or even just a fun project. Everyone who has ever experienced writer’s block will know that it is a really horrible experience. It is overwhelmingly frustrating and sometimes tough to deal with, especially if you know that you have a deadline approaching. In actual fact, I had writer’s block while trying to come up with something to write about for this blog post. So, I decided to take that difficulty and use it as my inspiration. Yes, I know it is ironic – believe me, I chuckled about it for a while. So, for anyone who has ever had the misfortune of struggling with writer’s block, you don’t need to worry about it anymore. Here are, from the person who struggles with writer’s block often, 12 ways for you to deal with and get past writer’s block.
Start ahead of time
This isn’t really a way to cure writer’s block, but it is a way to avoid it. If you have a piece that is due on a particular day, try getting it done well ahead of time. That way, time pressure isn’t squishing all of your creative juices or writing ability, and, should you get stuck with writer’s block, you won’t be stuck stressing with a deadline hovering over you. You’ll have enough time to ensure that you get it done even if you are plagued with writer’s block.
Take a break
Sometimes, if you spend too much time staring at your laptop racking your brain for ideas, you will struggle to come up with ways to get the words out. Another thing that can happen is your brain just gets tired and doesn’t want to work anymore. So, the solution is to take a break if you feel like you just can’t think of anything to write. Turn off your laptop, and have a break. Do something that has nothing to do with the work you need to get done, and you might find that that distance you get during the break helps get your mind whirring again.
Work on something else
I sometimes struggle to be productive with my writing if I’m just wrapped up in one project. My brain just doesn’t like to work solidly on one project for long periods – it needs to be able to shift gears and do other things in between sections of the one project. What you could do is try working on something else if you find your words drying up for the one project you’re working on. There’s no rule that says you have to be confined to doing one piece at a time, so if you can multitask like that, you may find that switching between pieces actually prevents you from getting writer’s block because your brain is constantly shifting and not getting swallowed by one specific project.
Do some research
You may have already done research, but there is no such thing as too much research. Do some more and if that doesn’t help, then do even more! Doing research is a great way to deal with writer’s block because seeing what other people are writing on the topic can either spark your own creative juices or give you an idea for a new angle that you can go for. Let the work that has already been written inspire your own work. There’s nothing wrong with trying to see if that work can get your thoughts rolling again.
Do a fun writing prompt
Sometimes it can be quite dull when you are working on an academic project or a piece that has a particular purpose. Why not take a break from the serious work and try a fun writing prompt. It doesn’t have to be a noel prompt, but it can just be a fun short one for a little paragraph. It won’t ideally take you too long and doing a prompt allows your brain to stop focusing on work. Who knows the prompt might actually give you inspiration for the part of your project that you’re stuck on? Even if that doesn’t happen, it is at least a fun way to take a break without taking a break from writing.
Change of scenery
Maybe the reason why you are struggling to write is because of your routine or where you’re writing? Perhaps the space is not conducive to creativity, or you might just simply be bored of that space. Whatever the reason, changing where and when you write can sometimes work wonders on your writing in general. The new area might be just what your brain needs to get a fresh perspective and get working again.
Skip the introduction
A lot of people, myself included, find the introduction the hardest part to write, and yet we always start by writing the introduction. Why do we deliberately make life hard for ourselves? If you find yourself getting writer’s block while writing the introduction, then maybe the intro is the problem. Try skipping the introduction – start writing in the middle of your piece and then once you have the body done, it will be super easy to come back and fill in the beginning.
Get out and about
The reason why you might be struggling to write could be because you’ve spent far too long working and now you and your brain just need to get away. But, maybe the break you need isn’t just to turn your laptop off and have a breather. Going out and doing some exercise or just getting some fresh air could be the solution. Getting your pulse up and sweating out the work sweat will help you come back to your project with a refreshed head. Experts are always saying that exercise is good for your brain and can help with work and concentration so give it a try – it just might be the cure to writer’s block you’ve been looking for.
Pick a new medium
Perhaps the problem is because you’ve been using the same medium for too long. If you’re always typing your work, maybe it’s time to break out your favourite pen and your dusty notepad. Or perhaps instead of writing, in general, you should try recording yourself. Getting the ideas out in a different format can often be less intimidating, and you will also think about the content you need to write about in a different way depending on the medium you are using to convey it. For example, when I am struggling to type on my laptop, I sit on my bed or walk around my room with my phone recording myself as I just say everything that comes to my mind that I am struggling to type up. You’d be surprised how much it helps.
Put a timer on
Time-pressure is said to be a great motivator. Look at people who procrastinate – they get so much work done in such a little time because they have that extreme time pressure to get it finished before the deadline. Maybe the reason why you are struggling to write is that you have too much time to get it done and your head just isn’t motivated to get it done. How to fix this problem is to put a timer on and give yourself an allocated time to complete a certain amount of work. Your adrenaline might just get the words flowing again.
Read or listen to something
This point is a hybrid of taking a break and doing research – pick up a book you’ve wanted to read, listen to an audiobook or listen to music. By involving yourself in other creative mediums, you are letting yourself relax from the stress of doing work, but you are also doing research. How does reading a book count as research you might ask? Well, I once had a writing teacher tell me that authors read for two reasons – the first is for pleasure and the second is to steal. An idea or description in a book or song could give you a flurry of inspiration or ideas to finish the project you’re working on so if you’re struggling with ideas, maybe it’s time to see if someone else’s thoughts can inspire your own?
Walk away and have fun
People are always telling me, the workaholic and mildly obsessive stress-bunny when it comes to getting work done, the saying about all work and no play. Instead of just taking a small break, walk away entirely and say enough is enough for one day. Leave your desk behind and have some fun – whatever that fun may be for you. It’s tough to work when you are always thinking about work or are exhausted and burnt out from completely pages and pages worth of assignments, projects or deadlines. Try stopping work for a few hours and enjoy yourself – do something that you love, something that makes you smile. You’ll see that, much like with exercise, when you are a balanced person who takes care of yourself and knows when to stop and have fun, you’ll ultimately end up being a lot more productive.
So there you go! Hopefully, after reading this post, you will no longer think you’ve been plagued when writer’s block hits because you have these 12 ways that can help you deal with it. This advice can be adapted to any type of writing work you are struggling to get done, or even work that isn’t specifically writing. You can use these tips if you are simply struggling to get some particular project or venture done. I hope that you have all enjoyed this blog post, and found at least one tip that could help you in the future. For my questions of the day:
- Have you ever experienced writer’s block? What was it over, and how did you solve it?
- What would you like to see covered on this blog?
To conclude today’s post, I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you. The readership has really grown, and that is all thanks to you guys for your loyalty, and I cannot thank you enough for this. Please like this blog if you enjoyed it and haven’t already, and share with any of your friends who you think might need this advice. You guys are all amazing!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx