As writers, we’ve all been through bouts with writer’s block and we most likely will go through them again on multiple occasions in the future. Writer’s block is the kryptonite to every writer and the experience we dread most. It can be crippling. The following are a few tips on how to deal with it.
Clear your mind
Most times when we go through periods of writer’s block, it’s because we may have a lot on our minds or we’re doubting our ability to write anything decent – filling our heads with a great deal of useless thoughts. It’s important to have a clear mind when you sit down to write so that your ideas can flow. Maybe go for a walk or listen to your favorite music – do anything that relaxes you and that can even inspire you.
Sleep on it
When you’re trying to find that line/idea that would make everything click in your writing but it just won’t come then and there, sleep on it. Don’t give up on what you’re trying to write but give yourself time to find what you’ve been looking for. More often than not the solution will come to you after you’re well rested. You might even wake up with a better concept than the one you originally came up with and it might inspire you to write something amazing.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Often when we can’t think of what to write, we beat ourselves up and tell ourselves we’re not good enough to write anything. That’s not true. Go through what you’ve written in the past as a way to motivate you and show yourself you are a decent writer. You know that piece of writing you read that one time by your favorite writer? That probably took a countless number of struggles with self-doubt before it was written. Just because you can’t write it down the first time in one go or you can’t finish it, doesn’t mean you’ll never come up with a masterpiece.
I’ve come to believe lately that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind, which in turn leads to a clear mind as mentioned in the first tip. Move around, make your body work, get that blood flowing.
Block out all distractions
Unless you’re the kind of writer who needs background noise/music in order to write, when you do sit down to put pen to paper, stay away from any and all distractions. Put your phone on silent; turn off your TV/radio/music player; find somewhere where you have peace and quiet; tell people you’re not to be disturbed. This is work after all and it should be taken seriously.
You can’t be a serious writer if you don’t read enough. Reading is like arriving at a gas station and fueling up your car. It’s consuming content so that you can use it to create your own. So read, it’s essential.
Freewrite when you wake up
This is the best piece of advice I’ve ever received with regards to my writing. The man who gave me this tip also happens to be the one who inspired me to take up spoken word performances in the first place, Wordbenda. It’s quite simple yet effective. When you wake up in the morning, before you do anything else, write whatever comes to mind for the first five minutes of your day. It doesn’t have to make sense or have to be about something you’ve been meaning to write on. Simply let all your thoughts spill on a piece of paper. You’ll be surprised at how effective this can be.
Do you have any other tips you would like to share with us? Maybe a routine you’ve developed in order to get through writer’s block? Do you have any thoughts on the tips mentioned here or this post in general? Let us know and let’s have a conversation.