Writer’s Block is something that we all face at some point in our careers. While it’s a struggle most often related to creative writers such as novelists and screenwriters, really anyone charged with writing a significant piece is susceptible to condition. Whether it’s research papers, presentations, or any number of business document, sometimes the words just don’t flow as easily as you’d like.
Here at The Hub, I confess that I sometimes fall victim to the occasional bout of Writer’s Block while putting together articles for you fine people. So how do I cope? How do I overcome? Not to sound braggadocio, but I feel I’ve become something of an expert in this field and I’d be happy to share my secrets with you.
Go for a walk.
This one is my ultimate go to cure. While I work hard to make my office a comfortable and relaxing place to get writing done, sometimes I do get a little stir-crazy. It’s times like that that my writer’s mind hits a roadblock and I’m faced with an empty page. That’s when I know I need some fresh air. I usually only keep it to a short 15-minute walk, nothing too intense. I don’t always come back with brilliant ideas, but I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the mission.
Preform a monotonous task.
When suffering from Writer’s Block, I cannot tell you how important it is to not think. Trying to force new ideas or the perfect sentence becomes frustrating to the point of damaging. Instead, take a break and take on a task that will help to clear your mind. Personally, I hop on my ride-on lawn mower and just let my mind wander. Sometimes taking away the structure is all you need.
Listen to music.
I’ll be honest, this method doesn’t always work for me. You really have to pick the right music. Nothing with too many lyrics or one that you like too much. Try some classical music or something that would make suitable background noise. You might find it to be too much of a distraction but it could also be a great way to keep you relaxed and focused.
Clean your workspace.
A cluttered space makes for a cluttered mind. Not just a cliché but an actually valuable piece of advice. Regardless of if you feel that you’re too busy to keep your workspace tidy, having it overflowing with garbage and papers is not going to help you. Take a break to fix things up and turn the area into a less chaotic environment. It will give you a task and help eliminate some distractions.
Create in other ways.
Taking on another creative task can really help to ignite that part of your brain. It can be a number of things; playing music, painting, drawing. One very method that I’ve heard to be very effective is building with Legos. It might seem silly, but building without any rules or without a plan can encourage free thinking which is what you’ll need to break your case of Writer’s Block.
Have a conversation with yourself.
Again, you may dismiss this as a silly exercise but it’s just the sort of thing that works against the creative stalling. Often with Writer’s Block, to overcome it you really need to get outside of your head. In order to get your message of your writing across to your audience, it needs to be more than just words on the page. Try writing out loud to get a sound for it and the next sentence or idea will likely involve naturally. It may need some cleaning up but it gets you moving in the right direction.
When someone first gave me this advice for my Writer’s Block, I thought sarcastically, “Oh that’s real helpful”. It does sound like the sort of advice that just sounds good but is really empty. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. Writer’s Block is not an excuse to stop writing. Nothing is physically preventing you from putting pen to paper or fingers to key board. Yes, the quality might be lacking but that doesn’t matter. Write, write, write. Write without thinking or write on a different subject. Your writer’s mind in a muscle you must exercise even if the final results aren’t perfect.