Overcoming Writer’s Block – 7 Methods That Work
Writer’s block is something most writers have to deal with at one time or another. It can be quite daunting staring at a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen, not knowing what to say. Presented here are seven methods for overcoming writer’s block that will help you to get unstuck as a writer.
May writer’s develop writer’s block when they feel unprepared. The feeling of not knowing what to say can be pretty overwhelming. You can combat these feelings by doing some research on the subject that you’re writing about, so that you do, in fact have something to say on the subject. Doing online or offline research is a great way to arm yourself with facts, thoughts and opinions on whatever you’re intending to write about, even if you intend on writing the next “Great American Novel.”
Brainstorming is a great way to tackle writer’s block. Instead of staring at a blank space, use that space to write down peripheral words and ideas that are both on the subject and off the subject of what you’re intending to write about. Don’t edit yourself. Just have fun coming up with all sorts of ideas that may only loosely relate to what you want to write. Don’t pressure yourself to use these ideas in your writing. Use brainstorming simply as a writing exercise that will help you loosen and get you kick started.
Taking an exercise break is an excellent way to combat writer’s block. Exercise helps get the blood flowing and helps the body and mind to relax. Relaxation is what you’re looking for if you’re experiencing writer’s block. Take a break to hit the treadmill, go to the gym or take a long walk. Don’t be concerned that time away from writing is wasted time. Your taking time not away from writing but from not writing. This is a healthy choice that will help you rejuvenate personally and as a writer.
Write About Having Writer’s Block
When you’re staring at a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen, many writers become intimidated and freeze up. “I don’t have anything to say,” is often bemoaned. But you do have something to say. If you practice your Zen and stay in the moment, you’ll write about what is happening right now. Write about having writers block. Write about what it feels like to stare at blankness and have nothing to say. Write about feeling frozen, scared, intimidated, pressured or whatever else you’re feeling. Also, save this piece of writing for later as you can use it for reference and add to it the next time you have writer’s block.
Lower Your Standards
Avoid perfectionism on the first draft and do not stop when you’ve made a mistake. Keep going, mistakes and all and just write. Do not try to edit while you write. This comes later. Let your first draft be a free flow of ideas, thoughts and concepts leaving the “critical editor” part of yourself for later. Just think to yourself that perfection is not to be tolerated on the first draft. After you’ve completely finished writing the first draft, then it is time to bring put on your editor hat and start the rewriting process. Don’t jump the gun, though, as the conflict of trying to write and edit at the same time causes many cases of writer’s block. Keep these two tasks separate.
Clean House Literally and Figuratively
Sometimes writers will start a writing project but become stuck over a particular line or paragraph that just isn’t working. Either delete this or copy and paste it into a new document and save it for later. Don’t let a line or paragraph disrupt the flow of your writing. Get rid of it. Clean house.
In addition, sometimes a writer’s messy surrounding will reflect on their ability to write. Take a break to clean up your writing area. If you work from home, take a break to clean house. Many times the act of cleaning and throwing out the old will open us up to the new, such as new ideas, thoughts or perspectives. Cleaning house literally and figuratively can help sweep away writer’s block.
Take an “Art” Break
Take a break to draw, paint, sculpt, collage or any other right brain artistic endeavor. Sometimes a writer’s brain can get out of balance with all the stimulation and activity that is happening on the left side. Taking a right brain artistic break will help balance this activity out. You may even wish to paint yourself and then write. Kooky, offbeat ideas that get you out of the norm will work wonders for conquering writer’s block.
Overcoming writer’s block is something that most writers will need to learn how to deal with for the long haul. One method may work for you now and a different one in the future. It will be handy to have these methods at your fingertips. Print out these methods for future use and share them with other writers, writer’s groups and clubs. Writers need to stick together and this is the eighth method for overcoming writer’s block, which is to put together a support group to help overcome it.
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