So You Have Writer’s Block
Writer’s block is infuriating! The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.” To put it simply–an annoying occurrence that interrupts a writer’s peace.
You have so many ideas, and then, all of a sudden… nothing. Your brain has forgotten how to think.
Some days, you can write pages upon pages. But other days, it’s as if your brain has gone completely blank, and all you can think about is what you’re going to eat for dinner.
And so you wait for the time when your mind will finally come back to life and your creative juices will once again flow from your neurons to your fingertips and onto the page.
Here are some tips to help you overcome writer’s block:
1. Free Write
Take some time to write about things that are important to you or what you did on any given day. Writing in general can help you break through the wall in your mind.
One of my favorite free writing techniques is writing about people I see at a coffee shop. Start with appearance: what color hair they have, their eye color and shape, their body language etc. Then go on to make up stories about them.
For instance, you see a young man with dark hair and bright blue eyes. He orders his coffee black and seems to be in a rush. Where is he going?
Maybe he’s on his way to meet his pregnant wife as she’s in labor. Maybe he just caught a glimpse of his side-chick, when his girlfriend is waiting for him in the car and he’s trying to run out unseen.
Maybe he’s just late for work.
Or maybe he really needs to use the bathroom as you watch him sprinting towards the restroom sign.
See how fun this could be? Try it out!
2. Read A Book
What better way to get inspiration than from some of the best writers known around the world? So pick up your favorite book and relax.
Don’t think so much about the style the author uses–just read the book for fun. You’ll be surprised at the ideas that pop up in your head after giving your brain some rest.
And don’t forget to let the sweet, yet musty scent of the old pages fill your nose as you open up the novel you’ve been wanting to read for so long. (Is there really any better smell?)
3. Change Your Environment
If you’re still staring at the bright screen of your laptop surrounded by four blank walls, leave the room. Go outside, lay in a hammock, and watch the clouds change shape.
Write down every different animal, object, and scenario you see amongst the clouds. Maybe you’ll see a little bunny smoking a cigarette and you’ll end up writing a New York Times Best Seller about rebellious teenage animals.
A change of scenery is healthy for your mind. It opens your imagination to new possibilities and thoughts, so be sure to travel to multiple cities to see the sky from a different point of view.
4. Go For A Walk
As stated previously, being cooped up inside all day can really narrow your thinking process. Find some inspiration from the scenes around you on a relaxing walk.
I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché “stop and smell the roses,” but in this case, you should! Take a stroll through a field of flowers and feel the soft petals brush against your fingertips.
Listen to the soft hum of the bees buzzing around the field and bask in the bright sunlight. What a beautiful, picturesque scene to write about, right?
Maybe something will strike a spark and you’ll come up with the next idea for whatever it is you’re writing, whether it’s an essay, a short story, or a novel. Sometimes you need to explore the world to expand your mind!
5. Draw Or Paint
Sometimes we don’t realize how creative we can be until we put a paint brush to a canvas.
Now, you don’t have to be particularly artistic for this exercise to work, so no worries there! But drawing and painting can ignite the left side of your brain and inspire some beautiful prose.
Or, if you feel like painting would be a waste of time because of your severe lack of artistic talent, you can always pull a Jackson Pollock and just throw random objects on a canvas, add some paint splatters, and see what you get.
While the result may not be as pretty as you had first intended, it sure sounds like a good way to release any emotions or feelings blocking the words from throwing themselves onto their own paper canvas.
Go for a jog or a bike ride through the countryside, and don’t even think about writing. Enjoy the breeze on your face and the sound of the tires on the pavement.
Focusing all of your energy on another task can help your mind break free from the stress of struggling to find the right words to say.
Throughout the workout, you may become rejuvenated with new ideas!
Do any of these strategies work for you? What other techniques do you have for overcoming writer’s block? Leave us a message; we’d love to hear!
For further advice or to share your ideas with us, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Kayla Keller
Originally published on Medium.