All writers will inevitably deal with writer’s block. It’s that crushing feeling that happens when your brain is moving, but your fingers can’t seem to find the words or worse, when your fingers are ready, but your brain has been squeezed dry. So instead of writing, your focus becomes the threatening cursor that blinks furiously at you. Write something, write something, write something. But you can’t.
I find that writer’s block fluctuates with the seasons. In the fall, the words flow freely, turning page upon page, but then winter comes and the words find themselves bundled tightly inside; suffocating, stifled.
As a professional writer, I don’t have time to have writer’s block–I have to make money every season, not just the fruitful ones–so I’ve had to learn how to work around my mental roadblocks. Try using some of these tips if you’re like me and your writer’s block comes and goes with a looming predictability or it appears out of nowhere.
Some times our best bet is to just walk away for awhile. Put the computer or pen down, back away and immerse yourself into something else. This something else could last an hour, a day, a week, a month or even a year. Take the time you need to collect yourself and then sit back down. A mental break can help us subconsciously find the words, allowing us to hit the ground running when we return.
One of my favorite techniques happens to be one of my favorite things to do: sleep. As writer’s, we know the pangs of staying up late and getting up early to finish something on deadline. It’s simply the nature of writing, but sometimes the words just get stuck and you can’t think of a work around–that’s when I go to sleep. Nothing is going to happen at this point, so give up, crawl into bed and snag a few hours of sleep. You’re mind will be fresh when you wake up and you’ll suddenly realize you had the answer all along.
A lot of times, I know where I need my writing needs to go, but I just don’t know how to get there. I like to go running when this happens, but any exercise will do. Besides all of the obvious benefits of exercise, it also actually strengthens your brain and I find that it helps me clear my mind and solve problems all in one stride. Exercise can help you physically move the brain rock out of the way.
Relax and De-Stress–
Stress can destroy us. It can cause us to gain weight, lose hair, wreck havoc on our immune system and can even impede our writing. Dealing with stress is important for everyone, so pay attention to your body and see if it’s stress that’s been weighing you down. If so, learn some techniques that will have you manage it like trying yoga, taking a bath or even engaging in some own personal self loving. Sex stores like Adameve.com can help you out in that department.
Join a Writing Group–
Find local writing groups in your area and join one. Writing groups are a great way to meet people and practice a different kind of writing style, approach or form. Often, we get stuck in our own head and voice, so it can be beneficial to push ourselves out from time to time.
Write and Write Again–
Just sit down and write. Write anything and keep writing. You’ll hate every word. Sentences will look wrong and the writing (in your mind) will be atrocious. Just keep going. Sometimes we have to mentally pull back each layer that’s covering our writing juju and writing can do that.
Finally, try to nail down when you write the best. I used to be a 2AM’er, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I write best between the hours of 6AM and 10AM, so I schedule myself as such. Don’t waste your time by sitting down at 10PM if you know you don’t write well then. Fill those hours with other enjoyable activities and then force yourself to sit down when you know the writing will actually come.