Wanting to write a book and actually sitting down to the hard work of writing are two very different things. You need a strategy, you need something to write about, and you need to be ready for the creative process. However, many writers who need to work creatively every day encounter writer’s block.
There are various reasons why writers encounter writer’s block, and at times it is easy to remedy. But other times it can cripple the entire process. While this may sound overwhelming (and it can be), there is good news. You don't have to let writer’s block win! Here are four tips to help you crush writer’s block.
#1 Write Something, Anything!
Let’s say you’ve been disciplined to do your best to avoid writer’s block, but you still find yourself stuck. Be honest about it. It happens to a lot of writers, but it doesn't have to have the final word. Instead, write something—anything! Writing, even if it is not for your project, can free up the gears in your head to help you get back to work, but often we overthink the problem.
So if you find yourself frustrated because you need to write, but you don't think you can write, then write something. I know this sounds too simple, but if you start the process, you will find your mind beginning to free itself from pent-up frustration or anxiety. You’ll begin to stop overthinking the task and get to work.
There are times when I have found it helpful to write a “Thank You” note or an email of appreciation to someone in my life. This not only forces you to write, but it also helps you move your mind to a place of gratitude, which will take the focus off your frustration about not being able to write so that you can focus on encouraging someone else.
#2 Be Inspired
If you’re struggling to write, it may be likely that you haven't been inspired lately. Perhaps you should take a break from writing to listen to your favorite album, or re-read your favorite book. Watch a movie, or go outside and enjoy your surroundings. Do something that will help you be inspired, and then write about that experience.
Learning what inspires us is a wonderful way to help us overcome our writer’s block and get us back on track towards meeting our writing deadlines. If you’re lacking ideas on what inspires you, ask a friend or family member about what they think inspires you, or ask them to share where they find inspiration. You’ll be surprised by their answers.
#3 Laugh, Play, Move
Have some fun. When writer’s block creeps in, it reveals that we might be taking ourselves and our work too seriously. Part of the reason we write is that we enjoy it, so do something else that you enjoy when you’re feeling stuck.
I’ve found when I lighten up a bit to laugh, play, or work out, I’m ready to go again soon. Also, sometimes it’s fun to write something ridiculous. Even if I just throw it away, I know that enjoying myself can do wonders for my writing.
#4 Keep a List of Ideas and Prompts
Another step you can take to overcome writer’s block is to start keeping a list of ideas or prompts to choose from when you feel stuck. I use Evernote to organize my ideas, and using it to store my thoughts has helped me become far more aware of my surroundings and more observant.
One key to gathering ideas is to read. A lot. We’ve mentioned this before, but reading will help keep your mind thinking creatively and also provide opportunities for you to find inspiration.
The key to crushing writer’s block is to understand that it is a common struggle, but there are things that you can proactively do to prevent and overcome it. If you follow this simple advice, your writer’s block should go from being an obstacle to a mere bump in the road. So, it’s time. Go write!