So, here you are, staring at a blank page, unable to think of a single word to fill in the numbing emptiness. That’s another encounter with an old enemy – the writer’s block. In case it makes you feel any better – you’re not the only one experiencing it. Another piece of good news is that it is certainly possible to defeat. We’ve collected a set of tips to help you do that. Check them out. Hopefully, the whole thing is going to get much easier.
One of the reasons of being blocked is the pressure, brought by the need to write at least something. The pressure quickly grows into anxiety, which is certainly counterproductive. Instead of fixating on being unable to write, switch the subject. Let your mind wander. The research has proven, that allowing your creativity to go through an incubation period brings to more meaningful, interesting results. Let the idea pop up from the depths of your consciousness on its own, rather than squeeze your brain to exhaustion.
Going through the incubation period, described above, you can also help your mind have some rest from all the writing-related thoughts. Spend time on some kind of “meditative” activity. Meditation itself is definitely helpful, yet if you find the state of total relaxation a bit difficult to achieve – go for something else, by all means. Wash the dishes, knit a scarf, rearrange the desk, water all the plants in the house – all of these may work. Feel free to invent your option. The main criteria is its being capable of diverting your attention from frustration, caused by the infamous writer’s block.
The first draft of anything is shit. That’s not even us speaking. That’s Ernest Hemingway. The guy probably knew a thing or two about writing, don’t you think? According to the study, perfectionism significantly halts your productivity. Thus, stop convincing yourself that you can’t start working on that essay or a blog post, because it’s going to be bad anyway. The first draft most probably will live up to these expectations. But you surely have all the powers to turn the second (or the third, or the fourth one) into something decent.
Feeling stuck mentally is often reflected by your physical state. The muscles are tensed, neck is audibly cracking – your body sends a clear message with a need to relax. Follow it and you’ll feel how amazingly it affects the writer’s block. It has been experimentally proven, that walking facilitates creative thinking, especially when you take a quality stroll outside rather than hectic pace in your room. Plus, it’s a great chance to exercise, which you’ll be grateful for later.
This one may be as wacky as you want it to be. Restrictions and challenges are often good for you, as your brain will search for efficient and fresh ways to solve the problem. Write a super-short story about the day of your chair’s life. Set 3 very unusual metaphors that are to be used in the piece you’re working on. Choose several common words and ban yourself from them. There’s no need to implement all these ideas into the actual project you’re working on. Let it be a kind of a writing exercise. It’s aimed at lightening your mood and encouraging you to have some fun. Why not try it?
Feeling short for words, lots of people tend to give themselves a hard time because of that. “You’re not a real writer”, “Who are you kidding, you can’t do that!”, “You won’t be able to be as great as this or that guy” – that’s just a couple of examples. None of these phrases do you any good. The thought is as old as the hills, yet it doesn’t lose its importance. A negative mindset builds walls around you. They don’t let you truly develop and explore your own abilities. Change the mood. Be positive. Say to yourself: “You can do it”.
“Good artists copy. Great artists steal”. Even this phrase doesn’t have a clear origin. The names of people, who appealed to it are quite impressive, though: Igor Stravinsky, Steve Jobs, Pablo Picasso, William Faulkner. Of course, it doesn’t mean copying someone else’s work and putting your name beside it. It rather is an encouragement to seek ideas and inspiration from real masters of the craft. Good books, interesting and informative blogs – read these from the point of view of professional. What makes them so awesome? Figure out the answer to this question and use it in practice. That will truly help you improve.
Finally, the most effective way to beat writer’s block is to write. Take your laptop or a sheet of paper and express yourself. It may be a rant on how much you hate the moments when the words seem to have left your brain, description of a cup of coffee you’re about to drink or… anything. Let the emotions help you beat the block and get down to business afterwards.
image credit: en.wikipedia.org