Whether you’re new to writing or you have several pieces under your belt, writer’s block will get to you at some point. You know what it’s like—you’re sitting in front of your laptop staring at a blank document and watching the cursor blink expectantly at you. You wait a while for the gears to turn, but they don’t. Instead, you go on the internet, watch a few cat videos, and pretty soon, an entire day has passed without you getting a single sentence written. Sound familiar?
Take comfort in the fact that many people have figured out ways of overcoming writer’s block. Here are some things that have worked for me and for other writers in the past. Try these out and see how they can help you! I’d love to hear if they help you get over the bump in your writing road.
Keep a Content Bank
Sometimes writer’s block comes from the fact that we have so many other concerns and ideas occupying our minds. For 15 minutes every day, get those other things out of the way by freewriting about them. Ignore rules in spelling, grammar and composition; repeat words or sentences if you must, leave trains of thought unfinished, and write about everything that comes to mind.
Doing so trains you to get the words out right away and make preliminary connections on the page. It also lowers your mental wall and allows you to be more open to the act of writing itself, priming you for the more focused writing you must do later in the day.
Freewriting can also inspire your next scenes or even your next projects. Keep whatever comes out of this process. You never know what treasures you’ll find in the clutter.
Take care of your body
Make sure you don’t neglect things like eating well, cleaning your home or workspace, and exercising. These seem like they have nothing to do with writing, but they’re some of the most important things you can do to prevent blocks.
Your brain is part of a larger system, and you need to take care of the entirety for it to function properly. If you are ill, or you have aches or pains somewhere in your body, you might not be able to concentrate on writing.
You can also meditate, practice yoga or Tai Chi, or dance. These activities relax your mind and stimulate blood flow. Meditation also helps you be peaceful and calms your nerves. When you feel stuck on a scene or a paragraph, prevent yourself from panicking by doing breathing exercises.
Protect your writing time
For at least three to four hours every day, create the space for writing. This means no interruptions of any kind, whether in person or through the internet. During your writing hours, you must turn off your phone and disconnect from the internet. Ask friends and family to not disturb you during these hours, since you will need solitude to help you get the words down.
You can also protect your time by being deliberate about your writing time. Choose your most creative hours, like early in the morning. When you have just woken up, your brain will probably still be generating theta waves. They have greater amplitude and slower frequency than the brainwaves when you’re properly awake, and they’re responsible for vivid dreams.
Try out-of-the-box solutions
Some people swear by speaking intentions to their glass of water. Before sleeping, they fill a glass of water and speak into it. The intentions can be anything, from: “I shall tap into my creative source,” to “I shall finish a scene tomorrow.” Then, they drink half the water before sleeping and half immediately after waking up.
For other people, keeping a dream journal will suffice. Have a notebook or a piece of paper and a pen beside you on a surface you can easily access from bed. This way, you can write anything you dream about, and work these into your writing once you’re fully awake.
Don’t let writer’s block discourage you—it happens to the best of us!
If writer’s block is happening to you, don’t let it discourage you from writing. Even established authors experience it, yet they end up penning books despite it. It can happen at any point in the writing process, so jump-start your creativity with tools and techniques like the ones above.
If you have a story in you that wants to come out, try writing a memoir. Start with a free, no-obligation consultation with Gabriella Kelly-Davies, the founder of Share your life story. Let Gabriella and the rest of our team help you share your words with the world today!