Writer’s block. It’s the bane of every writer’s existence and something we hope never to struggle with. But if you are struggling with writer’s block, don’t get discouraged. There are ways to beat writer’s block and in this post, I will discuss ten tips for overcoming writer’s block.
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How to Overcome Writer’s Block
Freewriting involves writing whatever comes to mind for a set period of time, such as 15 minutes, without pause and without worrying about spelling or grammar. You just write.
What you might write in that time period may be completely unrelated to your current project, but that is okay. The point of freewriting isn’t necessarily to get you writing about your current project but just to get you writing at all, to get the words flowing, and help break up the logjam you’ve been struggling with. And by writing without worrying about the topic or spelling and grammar, you’re helping to free yourself from any doubt or self-consciousness that may have been contributing to your writer’s block.
Once the time period you set is over, return to your current project. If you’re still struggling with writer’s block, try freewriting for a set time period for a few days, and then try returning to your new project. You can also try out some of the other tips as well.
For your freewriting, consider setting a timer. You can also use a time block cube.
2. Eliminate distractions
It is so easy. Just one peek on Instagram or just a quick check of your e-mail. Next thing you know, you’ve been scrolling on Instagram for two hours or ended up replying to dozens of e-mails. When you are already struggling to write, distractions like your phone or the internet are not going to help. So eliminate those distractions.
Turn off your phone and unplug from the internet. Straighten up your desk or wherever you write because a cluttered space might be cluttering your mind.
If you need help eliminating distractions, consider using a focus app or site blocker.
3. Take a shower
I’m being serious. If your mind is stuck and you cannot write, get in the shower. Showering is a mindless task, it’s monotonous. Basically, it does not require you to think because you do everything on autopilot. This allows your mind to wander, to daydream, which hopefully leads to new ideas.
And don’t fret, if you get a great idea while in the shower, you can easily jot it down using these waterproof notepads.
4. Switch up how you write
If you normally write on your computer or laptop, consider switching to pen and paper, or vice versa. It’s a small change but it can make a world of difference.
5. Go for a walk
Similar to showering, walking is a mindless activity that frees your mind. Plus, you get a change of scenery, some physical activity, and fresh air, all of which can be helpful in defeating writer’s block.
6. Listen to music
Music can be inspiring. It can also be relaxing, which you may need if you’ve been stressing over your inability to write. I find that putting on music can really center me and focus my brain, bringing forth the words that had previously been stuck.
7. Flex your creative muscles
Paint a picture, complete a puzzle, color, engage in woodworking if that’s your thing, whatever works for you, and will get your creative juices flowing. Work on this project for a little while and then go back to writing.
8. Work on your characters
If you are not sure where to start your book or you are stuck at a particular point in your plot, take a break from working on the storyline itself and spend some time developing your characters.
9. Write something else
It is important to maintain a writing routine, so if you’ve been staring at your computer screen or notepad for a while, try putting your current project to the side and writing something else, just to make sure you are writing. Try out some creative writing prompts or other writing exercises.
Plus, by removing your focus from your current project and working on something else, you might subconsciously think of new ideas because you are not trying so hard or trying to force your brain to come up with something.
10. Embrace imperfection
Don’t get caught up trying to think of the perfect word or write the perfect first draft. Often writer’s block occurs because we come so obsessed with the need to be perfect, that we become stuck, unable to get past the fear that what we write will, for lack of a better word, suck.
So how do you overcome writer’s block that is caused by a need for perfection?
Embrace the fact your first draft is going to be rough. It is called a rough draft for a reason. Use the first word that comes to mind and write what you’re thinking, you can refine all of it later. That is what editing is for.
Just getting words on paper is good enough for the first draft. You can’t edit what is not written.
These are suggestions for how to overcome writer’s block and I hope you are able to utilize them to help you beat it, but remember, there is no magic cure for writer’s block. What works for one person might not necessarily work for you.
What are your methods for beating writer’s block? Any that I didn’t discuss? Share in the comments below!