For those who make their living out of words, writer’s block can be a real plague.
Your fingers hit the keys, your eyes go out of focus and your start to sweat – as you’ve just realised that you can’t string one engaging or even legible sentence together. Frankly, it’s a nightmare.
If you’re currently browsing the web because you’re suffering from a bout of writer’s block, here are 5 quick fire tips that will help clear your head, and get back on that all-important wordy horse…
Before we go any further, the first thing to remember is – don’t get discouraged. This writer’s block business is only a fleeting thing and you can overcome it.
Step away from your writing and do something else that’s creative: make a collage, take some photos, paint a picture. Whatever you do, it is sure to free you from the shackles of your slump and leave the mind feeling fresh.
Try Freewriting: get into the habit of doing this for around 10 minutes every day. What do you do? You just write. Get up a fresh word doc or blank piece of paper and put down whatever comes into your head, ignoring standard structure or punctuation. This will allow your thoughts and ideas to spill onto the page organically and help you get back on track.
Cast away distractions: Your phone, television, personal emails, social media, magazines, radio; basically anything that will take you away from stringing a solid thought together. Yes, audio and visual things can help give us inspiration sometimes, but when you have a serious case of the block, it’s essential to be able to focus when you are at the screen. In this case, a neutral, silent, internet free room without gadgets is just what the doctor ordered!
Write at the pinnacle time of day: Research suggests that many of us are at our most productive, alert and creative, either very early in the morning, or very late at night. Depending on your personality and situation, pick what’s best for you, then stick to it for a while. Take a decent writing break in the middle of your day, and tune into your words at your pinnacle time – from personal experience, this really helps your writing to flourish.
Get moving: with creative disciplines, positive stress if often the key to creativity. So if you’re in a little bit of a rut, head outside and do something active. Go for a cycle, jog or a long walk – this has been scientifically proven to help relax the mind and re-set the cogs so that you’re essentially working with a blank canvas. As you are in motion, you are bound to connect those missing dots and when you return to the computer, you’ll be a lean, mean word churning machine. If walking etc. doesn’t work for you, meditation also has very positive creative effects.
If you’ve been sat staring aimlessly at your screen for a long time and don’t know what to do with yourself, read over these tips, step away from the computer, free your mind and before long, you’ll be back to your old creative self.
Please let us know how you get on by leaving a comment below: have these methods helped your writing, or have you found others that have proved effective?
Image: Drew Coffman via Flickr