Anyone who has done any form of writing knows what it feels like to experience “writer’s block.” No matter if you’re writing a school paper, an article, a blog post, or a full-fledged 1200 page novel, you’ve surely had the feeling of being completely stuck at one point or another.
Well, there are a few things I do to get past those moments of “I have no idea what I’m saying and where I’m going with this…”.
To start out with, I view writer’s block as my body’s (and mind’s) way of telling me that I’m out of “creative gas.” I have nothing left in the tank; I can’t even think of character names, nonetheless develop a plot and make it worth anything!
So, I have found a few things that I do to “recharge” when I feel like I’m running low on creative juices.
1) Go Outside
Nothing helps to relax me, both physically and mentally, like getting out of my house (that’s also where I work, so… yeah, I feel like I’m trapped there a lot). Sometimes it’s just a quick walk with my puppy, other times it’s a long run, or just a stroll to find an empty bench where I can sit in silence by the river.
It doesn’t matter what it is–this is almost always my first step in clearing my mind so it can recharge.
So, I’m a huge believer in “productive procrastination.” If I know I have something I should be doing (like writing) but I can’t seem to be able to do it, I still need to feel like I’ve accomplished something!
Cleaning is a great way for me to do this, while not letting the panic and guilt of not working on that one story or that other article consume me completely.
For me, the pressure to do something is often times what makes me unable to do it. I get so trapped in my own mind, that it just sort of shuts down and refuses to work. Cleaning (or any form of productive procrastination) helps me get past that.
What better way to be inspired to write than by reading a good book? It not only lets your mind relax and distracts it from the impending deadlines and endless projects, but it is also a great source of inspiration!
And… I’m just going to throw this out there–reading a good book with a glass of wine in your hand seems to make the inspiration surface even faster.
4) Listen to Music
I just love to listen to music and sing a long at the top of my lungs. I have a few albums that I specifically love to listen to when I write because the beat/lyrics seem to match perfectly the feel of the story I want to create.
And, the occasional solo dance party that inevitably ensues is a great break from the stress of writing and a wonderful time for my mind to relax a little.
5) Know when to throw in the towel
Sometimes it’s just better to know when that day just isn’t going to be your day. Even if you do force something out and fill the pages in front of you, chances are you’re going to end up hating it anyway, and rewriting it at some point.
It’s okay to just walk away for a day or two. Focus on a different project, or catch up on your favorite TV show you’ve been too busy to watch. Sometimes, all we really need is a little time to ourselves to let our batteries recharge.
What do you think? Is there anything you do to get past your writer’s block moments?