Have you ever experienced getting excited about writing a thought or an idea that crossed your mind only to be frustrated later because once you were in front of your laptop or PC, no words would come
out from your mind and you couldn’t think of anything to write? Have you ever noticed that no matter how hard you tried to come up with words to write on your blog, article or report, nothing worked? Are you finding it difficult to put into paper the thoughts you have in your mind? Chances are, you may be suffering from “writer’s block.”
Professional and amateur writers including journalists, novelists, and authors are prone to writer’s block.
Speaking as a journalist, I experienced this frustrating condition so many times in my career that for me, it is one of the worst things that could happen to people whose career is focused on writing. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to experience or suffer from writer’s block especially when you have a deadline to beat.
What is writer’s block?
Before we go any further, it is important to know what “writer’s block” is. To put it simply, it is a condition when one is unable to think of what to write or how to put his or her thoughts on paper. It can last for an hour, days, months, or even years if left unchecked!
Based on my own experience, I know that I am suffering from writer’s block when I couldn’t focus on what I am writing when I am not in the “mood” to write, or if I lack inspiration when I feel stressed, frustrated, and “mentally drained.”
Over the years, I have learned how to deal with this condition that has afflicted professionals and amateurs alike. The good news is, writer’s block is a temporary setback for people, whether he or she is a writer or not, and you must not let it ruin your life or career. So now, I am sharing with you, dear readers, 13 sure ways to overcome writer’s block:
1. Don’t force yourself to write
The minute you feel that nothing is coming out of your mind, my best advice is don’t force yourself to write. As simple as that. There is no use nagging yourself that you have to come up with something if your “creative juices” are not flowing. It is like fighting a useless war. The best thing you can do in times like this is just to sit and relax for an hour or so. Once you are relaxed, words will come to your mind easily and you will be able to write.
2. Take a hike
Whenever I am experiencing writer’s block, I would get out of the house and take an hour-long walk. It helps me to calm down and relaxes my mind and body. While walking, I observe my surroundings and I get ideas from them which helps me to develop a topic to write about and gives me the urge to put my thoughts in writing.
3. Give yourself a break
Put down your pen and notepad or move away from your computer or laptop to give yourself a break from writing. Do something interesting to take your mind off your writing for a while like singing, dancing, reading a book, eating your favorite ice cream, or going to the mall. I do this whenever I am slowed down by writer’s block. You will be amazed at what these things can do for you to fight off writer’s block.
4. Give yourself a treat or incentive
To encourage myself to write, I always give myself a treat. For instance, if I have a big writing assignment before me, I would tell myself, “Okay, you have to finish this article on the table. Once you finish it, then, you can eat at your favorite restaurant or buy that nice dress you saw at the mall.” The idea that I can get something I want, later on, gives me the drive to work hard to finish my articles at the earliest possible time.
By doing some exercises, you are doing yourself a great favor and helping your mind and body to prepare you for the writing task at hand. You can take your furry friend for a brief walk like what I always do before writing, or if you are up to it, jog for half an hour or so. This will allow your creative juices to flow freely and take care of your health, too.
6. Just write anything
If you still want to write, despite having writer’s block then no one can stop you. Just write something. Don’t mind the grammar mistakes, punctuation’s, and spellings. Just write freely and list down everything you have in your mind and you will be surprised that words will come out freely. You can always go back to your previous writing and correct the grammatical errors. The important thing here is you can beat writer’s block.
7. Listen to music
I have discovered that listening to music is one of the best ways to fight off writer’s block. I have a collection of music on my laptop, both the old and new ones. Whenever I feel unmotivated to write, I would play some music to relax my mind, and voila! Before I knew it, I have already finished my articles! Thank you for the music!
8. Watch TV or a movie
I don’t know but for whatever reason, whenever I am experiencing writer’s block, watching TV or movies helps me a lot in overcoming it. What I do is watch a movie with my favorite lead stars to make me feel happy and inspire me to write. And you know what? It works! After watching that movie, I would feel so inspired to write that I could even write more than what is expected of me.
9. Take a shower
Many writers find that taking a shower helps them to beat writer’s block. It is the same with this writer. Somehow, after taking a shower, my mood changes and it gives me the drive to take up my pen and write my thoughts easily. Yes, water is life, even in writing!
10. Rest or sleep it off
Once writer’s block is beginning to kick in, I would switch off my laptop, stand up from my desk—that is, if I am at home—and jump straight into my bed. I would close my eyes and sleep even for 15 minutes. This is what I call the power nap. When I wake up, I feel energized and motivated to write.
11. Go out with family or friends
Time spent with your family and friends is a major writer’s block reliever. When writer’s block strikes, I would leave my writing and ask my family to go out or dine outside so I could give my mind a chance to “breathe.” Being surrounded by your loved ones will give you the power and all the inspiration you need to conquer writer’s block.
12. Play with your pet
For me, this is one of the best ways to beat writer’s block. Whenever I am having difficulty organizing my thoughts or writing, I will stop what I am doing and play with my dog for 30 minutes. Playing with my dog eases my tension and helps me to relax and laugh. The joy our pets can give us is immeasurable and one of the best weapons to overpower writer’s block.
13. Don’t be hard on yourself
I used to kick myself for not being able to write something every time I was having difficulty writing down my thoughts in paper or in the computer. When I realized that I was not the only one in the world suffering from writer’s block, I forgave myself and it helped me a lot in finishing my articles on time or even before the deadline. The trick here is, don’t be too rough on yourself when it comes to writing. Just do your best and everything will take care of itself.
The bottom line is, you can easily overcome writer’s block if you have the determination and will to fight it. You must accept the fact that it will pop up once in a while but you should be ready to turn the table around and not let it stop you from doing your job or creating a great piece of writing. There are plenty of ideas that you can explore, develop and write about, thoughts that touch us in a fleeting moment. You must not let writer’s block rob you of the joy of writing. The next time you experience writer’s block, tell yourself “I can beat it.” So, go ahead, pick up your pen or laptop and start writing!