Are you a writer? Are you struggling to conquer what seems like an insurmountable task and finish that piece you have been working on? Want to know how to overcome a writer's block? Want to learn how to take some effective time away from your work?
Then join us as we explore 10 of the most effective methods for sidestepping writer's block and make your imagination play ball again.
As with many other creative practices, the act of making it a habit is one of the first things you should attempt when overcoming writer's block.
Some might believe that creativity should be spontaneous and intuitive, but waiting for inspiration in this way can be a recipe for disappointment. Try, instead, approaching writing as a routine, scheduling time each day to write to get the creative juices flowing. Rather than using a fountain pen, you can just change your schedule instead.
Another oft-utilized method for staving off the mental paralysis so often associated with the writing process is to talk it out with a friend.
This friend can be real or imaginary - there have been many writers who have even created a writing routine of imagining themselves in the company of several great writers and engaging in writing exercises with them.
Rather than starting at a blank page, start writing with your voice instead and steep your imagination in a cup of friendship!
Many famous writers and professional writers find that they are most creative at a certain time of day, so perhaps it could be worth attempting to find your own particular time of day.
There have been plenty of poets who can only write poetry at, say, sunset, when the sun is blinding them with its marvels - any other time of day and there is trouble writing.
Thus, you would be best advised to find your own time of day to beat writer's block at your own behest.
Stay away from them at all costs as they can reduce your focus and interrupt your workflow, or even keep you from starting a project altogether.
Some writers struggle with these kinds of things in particular, though equally, there are plenty of writers who end up craving those very same distractions. It is similar to the way those who grew up in the big city end up craving the background noise and hum of city life when they are away from it, sometimes to the point of struggling to sleep as a result.
Sometimes, even worrying about the materials you are using - i.e. which diary or journal to write in - can be a distraction all of its own.
5. Change Sides
If a particular part of a piece is bothering you and preventing you from progressing, then why not try working on another part of the project? Most pieces are not necessarily written in order - you can always come back to this part later. Sometimes the greatest writing tool is being a little smarter about your writing schedule and how you work.
Perhaps, for some of the reasons listed above, you are struggling to concentrate and get into the zone. Often, this has to do with the place in which we work, so why not try changing to another space?
Some people prefer to work in an environment where there is a semi-regular background hum, whereas some prefer complete silence. You be the judge.
It can be very tempting for younger writers to want to write without soaking up any inspiration.
Those experiencing writer's block might want to heed the fact that many famous writers believe the ratio of reading to writing should be about 10 to 1. Equally, though there will be a whole host of writers who say the opposite, that reading so much will spoil your own divine inspiration. You be the judge - again.
Stuck on what to read? Find your new favorite book on Goodreads!
8. Something Else
If you feel stuck with your writing, then just what do you think you are doing trying to force something that clearly isn't working for the time being?
Try stepping away from any creative tasks altogether, or at least taking a step back from anything to do with the written word necessarily. Watching a movie, enjoying a meal, solving a puzzle, looking at artwork, or engaging in any hobbies where you use your hands and mind together.
Why not use the time away from writing to be productive in another area instead? No doubt you have plenty of other errands and chores to be getting on with - most writers do not enjoy the luxury of living apart from all the usual boring household business that everyone else has to engage in.
So, why not use your very own writing funk to step away from the process of writing and engage in some character development of your own by doing some chores?
Finally, where all the other methods listed above have involved taking an active step away from writing, why not try another writing exercise to get the juices flowing again?
One of the main creative solutions other writers are prone to use to enhance their creative process is called freewriting. This involves writing without stopping for a set amount of time, leaving no opportunity in the moment to check your grammar or otherwise edit yourself, letting your mind flow as much as possible.
Even if this freewritten piece never sees the light of day, it can still be a useful way to sort through the veritable pile of junk in your head relating to your present conundrum.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to sidestep your writer's block and get writing once more. Best of luck out there and don't forget who helped you out in your time of need when you're all big and famous!
FAQs How to Overcome a Writer's Block
WHAT CAUSES WRITER'S BLOCK?
Contrary to popular belief, writer's block is not an actual medical condition that you can catch like any other disease or ailment. Rather, it is a specific psychological mindset that makes a writer feel as though they cannot progress with a specific writing project or their whole artistic journey. Therefore, there can be no single defining reason for the appearance of writer's block that is not personal to each writer in question.
DOES WRITER'S BLOCK GO AWAY?
Sometimes writer's block will go away with very little prompting on the writer's part. In such instances, it is usually that the writer in question simply needed some time apart from the exercise in question. On the other hand, though, writer's block can take a little more prompting and might require the use of other extended writing exercises and techniques in order to lure inspiration out from the hiding place it has adopted.