It’s 10pm, you finally sat down to relax and update your blog. You get comfortable, turn on some music, and stare at your computer screen. Nothing. You put your fingers on the keyboard ready to go, nothing. What is going on? This is so strange. You tell yourself to shake it off and try again. Nothing.
Has this ever happened to you? If so, you have a good old fashioned case of writer’s block. No worries, it happens to all of us every now and then! The question is, how do you get rid of it?
Like you’d expect, different remedies work for different people, but here are ten ways that I’ve used to combat writer’s block. Hopefully some of them will work for you. Please let us know your own personal remedy of choice in a comment below!
1. Take the pressure off yourself, don’t force it, put it aside. – Writing is supposed to be fun. Once you force yourself to do something, you’ve taken the fun out of it. Don’t force it! Unless you are a professional writer with specific deadlines, give yourself a break. Put it aside and come back to it later.
2. Don’t strive for perfection, strive for excellence. – Nothing can stifle your creativity more than trying to be perfect. We are not perfect, we are human. Strive for excellence in each piece you write, but open up inside and allow some room for a few mistakes. That is the space where you’ll find your greatest ideas.
3. Just focus on the first sentence, trust the rest will come. – Have you ever noticed that the first sentence is the hardest? Once you’ve got that, you are good to go, right? So, just focus on that. Don’t get overwhelmed. You only need one sentence and then you can let the momentum take over.
4. Change your scenery. – This works well for me. The more drastically I change my scenery, the better. For example, sometimes it is not enough to just go for a walk around the neighborhood, sometimes it is necessary to get in the car and drive to the park. For me, the change of scenery always involves going outside, the fresh air does wonders for writer’s block.
5. Draw a picture or a graph of what you want to express but can’t find the words. – Ohhh… this is a good one. Drawing out what you want to say if often helpful because it allows you to break it down into bite sized pieces. Use that drawing as a guide when you write.
6. Get some coffee, tea, water or a healthy snack. – Get up from your desk, walk away from the computer, and just get moving, even if it’s just to walk to the kitchen to fix something to drink or eat. I used to eat a bag of Cheetos when I’d get writer’s block, a few years ago I switched to sliced apples, but either way, get a snack and chill out!
7. Write every single day. Exercise your mind. – I’ve noticed this recently. When you exercise your body, exercising becomes easier. When you exercise your mind, writing becomes easier. If you write every day, you’ll notice a bit of a paradigm shift in your mind and it will start to flow effortlessly.
8. Sleep – This one works best for me. No matter what time of day, if I have writer’s block, I can sleep for as little 15 minutes and it almost always washes the writer’s block away.
9. Read something unrelated. – As Stephen King advises, if you want to be a great writer, you have to read a lot. Read, read, and read some more. You will inevitably get some ideas while you read. Make sure to take notes to record all those ideas!
10. Take care of distractions – If things aren’t right at home, if things are bothering you, it will most likely be hard to write. Take care of any distractions. You have to be able to access your happy place and relax. If the TV is on and bothering you, turn it off. If there is a noise outside that is annoying you, close the window. If the dog is barking, put him outside. You get the idea. Make your surroundings peaceful and invite the ideas to come to you.