This post is for my fellow writers out there.
I have a head full of ideas; characters, settings, plot twists and dialogues. I sit at my laptop, hands hovering over the keyboard and then… nothing. I have no idea where to start or where I’m going.
Writer’s block gets the best of us, no matter what you’re writing. Whether you’re penning out a novel, cramming in a short essay for class, or jotting down a product review; writer’s block can and will come for you.
I enjoy writing creatively on my spare time and I always have ideas flowing through my mind, but there are times when the words just won’t come out. The cursor blinks at me, waiting for me to type at least one sentence. I’ve slammed my laptop shut before, so hard I actually cringed. It’s a cry for help.
Now, after a few years of writing and learning, I have gained a few strategies that helped me in the past. Sometimes these strategies work wonders, other times, they’ve made me feel worse about not writing. But hey, you can’t always win, right?
Here are five helpful strategies that I use when writer’s block takes over:
1.TAKE A STEP BACK!
It will all be okay! Don’t panic, don’t cry. Stepping away from your computer or whatever device you’re writing on will help. It may seem as if you are wasting time by not sitting in front of the screen, but were you even writing in the first place? No. So, taking a break from the project will do you GOOD. Have a snack, walk around, and return back to the piece in 20-30 minutes. This gives you time to refresh and reboot. The inspiration may come flooding back.
2.Read/Watch a Movie/TV Show
It may surprise you, but reading actually helps improve your writing. The more you read, the better writer you become. Whether that’s reading up on the chapter in your textbook for your class, or simply picking up your favourite book, can help you find the inspiration to write more. Sorry to those who don’t enjoy reading, but it’s the truth! I also find that watching a little bit of a movie or a short TV show (sitcoms, 20-30 minutes) help me gain my inspiration back. Use this time to relax, no matter how tense you may feel about the writer’s block.
3.Listen to Music
Very similar to #2, music helps get the brain in motion, especially when listening to the right playlist. Check out My Writing Playlist post to see what I listen to when I’m in need of some inspiration. Of course, it all depends on what you’re writing. I also find that listening to the music while I work puts me in a great writing mood.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know that I enjoy working out. Even if this is something you don’t necessarily enjoy, going outside for a walk or a run will help with the writer’s block. While you’re outside, or even at the gym lifting weights, you see things, hear things, smell things, and so on. These experiences have helped me gain back the inspiration to continue writing. COME ON. Sweat a little.
5.Write Something Else
There’s a fantastic book that I purchased a few years ago called 642 Things to Write About. This book is full of writing prompts and ideas that can help get you started, or even get you to write something completely different. I find that when I’m stuck on writing something, I flip through this book, or even go to other writing prompt sites (a great one is from Penguin, linked here), I will write something else and the inspiration will come back. Even writing the ideas down on paper helps, too. Close your current document, open a new one, or flip to a new page and start writing something completely different. This has helped me on numerous occasions.
I hope that whoever is struggling to write out there stumbles upon this and this helps them, even in the tiniest amount!
How do you combat writer’s block or even when you lack inspiration? Leave a comment below!