Writer’s block is a pain in the butt. We’ve all been there. As a writer, writer’s block is the bane of my existence. We’ve all hit that dead end where nothing we write seems to make sense anymore. Those are the times when watching even the smallest particle of dust flutter past your computer screen can feel like a better application of your time that writing more nonsense words. It’s frustrating. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t break the writer’s block. You try writing prompts and taking breaks, but those tricks just don’t seem to cut it all the time. There are many techniques writers use to overcome the dreaded writer’s block. The trick is finding the method that works best for you. Here are six tips for you to play around with and use the next time you get writer’s block:
• Take a break and do mundane stuff. Stop your writing and wash the dishes or fold the laundry. Those tasks will give you something to focus on rather than your writing, leaving your mind fresh when you sit back down to write.
• Write at a different time or in a different place than you usually do. A change of scenery does a lot of wonders for a writer. The new scenery might spark ideas you wouldn’t normally have in your regular writing spot. The same goes for the time that you write. Write later in the night or earlier in the morning for a new take on your topic.
• Start writing in the middle. Introductions are stressful. Sometimes, it can seem impossible to write without nailing your introduction. But, coming back to the introduction after you have written a body of work can make your introduction stronger. Write where you want your story or blog to go and mold your introduction around it. If your writer’s block is stuck on a specific area, skip that and go back to it later. Many writers don’t write in order.
• Don’t edit while you write. Stressing over punctuation and sentence structure can cloud your mind and keep you from producing content that conveys the tone you are looking for. Don’t nit-pick your writing as you go. Focus on your content and the tone before you worry over details.
• While you’re at it, try free writing. Write anything that comes to mind. No punctuation. No grammar. Make it one long sentence if you want to. Freewriting is an excellent way to process your thoughts (or lack thereof) and get to the point you are trying to make. Even if what you write makes no sense, you may find something surprising in your freewriting!
• Change how you are writing. Like changing your scenery, changing how you are writing could spark new ideas. Change from Word to Notepad, or maybe even good ol’ pen and paper. Change your font size and color. Small changes like these can change the way you look at your writing.
• Most importantly, write for yourself. You obviously love writing. Forget writing for an audience and get back to why became a writer in the first place. Don’t care what anyone else thinks. Just be you!
The bottom line is, writer’s block is something that every writer has struggled with, and working through it will happen, in time. If all else fails, try a glass of wine and a good night’s sleep. Sleep is something that writers are usually woefully deficient in, anyway!
Keisha K. Page is a published author, and owner of Working Mama Media, where she helps authors navigate the business side of being an author, among other things. She writes weekly at Ecririons about book marketing, platform building, branding, and putting together a team to ensure your success as an author.