We all know it, we’ve all had it: writer’s block. Whether you’re a blogger, a student, or an author, everyone has experienced writer’s block at some point. It’s when you’re staring at a blank page on your computer or notebook and feel unable to produce a single word. Your mind is literally as blank as the page in front of you. It can last for hours or days and, let’s face it, it’s just super frustrating for every writer. But the good news is that there are many strategies that can help you overcome it. In this post I share my top 10 tips on how to combat writer’s block!
1. Take a Break
Sometimes your brain just needs a break. Writer’s block often results from tiredness or exhaustion so there’s no point in forcing yourself to write. Turn off your computer and do something completely different. Get yourself a cup of coffee, watch a series, or listen to music. Try to do something that doesn’t remind you of your writing project and get back to it only when you feel completely refreshed.
2. Do Something Creative
Write a poem, paint a picture, take photographs, decorate your room, do whatever inspires you. Put your work aside and do something creative for a few hours or days and then return to your writing with a fresh perspective.
3. Stop Writing, Start Speaking
Some people find it easier to talk about a topic rather than write about it. Imagine explaining your ideas to a friend and record your speech. Don’t worry about grammar or logic, just speak the way you would speak to a friend.
4. Try Freewriting
Set yourself a time limit (5-15 mins) and just start writing. Don’t let your pen leave the paper. Don’t go back to edit mistakes. Even if you have nothing on your mind, write “I have nothing on my mind” until a new idea comes up. When the time limit is up, stop and read your text. Underline all expressions and ideas that you like. You’ll see, it works wonders!
5. Avoid Last-Minute Cramming
Don’t leave anything for the last minute! While some people may perform well under pressure, the majority just doesn’t. Pressure can kill creativity and without creativity, there’s no point in writing.
6. Eliminate Distractions
Declutter your desk, turn off your phone and all other media around you (tablet, radio, TV, whatever). It may also help to turn off your Wi-Fi. It’ll help you focus on your task and not get distracted by anything around you.
Go for a run, work out, swim, take a hike, dance, practice yoga, play football with your friends. Exercise reduces stress, increases your energy level and lifts your mood. It doesn’t matter what type of sport you’re doing as long as you get your body moving.
8. Put Your Text Away For a Day or Two
Sometimes you just need to lay your text aside and not look at it for a day. It’ll refresh your mind and give you a new perspective on your writing the next time you read it.
9. Write at a Different Place
Go to another room, to the balcony, to the garden, to the park, to your local cafe, or the library. A new setting may boost your creativity and help you come up with new ideas.
10. Bury Your Inner Critic
Don’t expect your first draft to be perfect! Accept that it may be crappy and remind yourself that you can always go back and edit your text. So start writing, edit later!
Needless to say, not every tip works for everyone. Writer’s block has many different reasons so it’s important to first track down where it comes from. If you’re tired, you might find it helpful to take a break or do something creative. If your perfectionism blocks you, it might help to try freewriting. If you’re lacking inspiration, it might help to change locations. In the end, it’s up to you to find out what works best for you!
How do you overcome writer’s block? Any tips? Let me know in the comment section below!