Have you ever experienced staring wide-eyed at a blank paper or document? Finding the will to write something but couldn’t find the right words? This frustrating and all too common phenomenon is called writer’s block. This occurrence is not new to authors, journalists, or novelists. A writer’s block is like a glitch in your writing (or lack thereof) that is best described as overwhelmingly being stuck and unable to proceed with your creative process.
There are instances where writers experience difficulty moving forward and writing anything new. Therefore, overcoming writer’s block is a delicate process that is often highly subjective, depending on each individual. It is a matter of conquering self-doubt and building your confidence in writing.
While writer’s block is a challenging thing to endure, there are eight easy steps to move on from it:
Write freely without pausing to worry about grammar, sentence structure, or spelling. Just keep writing as long as it still makes sense to you. Write without second-guessing everything. Doing so is one way of pushing through and winning against the battle of writer’s block.
Here’s a tip: Take the overthinking elsewhere, preferably far away from your draft.
To avoid writer’s block, try to have some inspiration for writing. For inspiration, try reading Inspiration For Writing in 3 Ways | Publishing Profits.
Take a break
Taking a break is essential when dealing with write-ups. It will help if you pause on the writing and entertain yourself for a while. Go outside, breathe, and re-establish the connection between you and your senses. From here, you can begin constructing your thoughts again and come up with better content.
Exercise your brain
Make yourself busy by doing mundane things like cleaning or showering. If you still haven’t, you should be running on autopilot for these and other related activities. Once you manage to do so, you will have more brain capacity to allot for your creativity. And yes, this means daydreaming quite a lot and entertaining ideas as they come without being interrupted by chores or responsibilities. Aside from this, you can also try some online mind games to exercise your brain into functioning better. Try playing on Braingymmer and in Lumosity. These sites could be the key to your writer’s block, and get this; you’ll have fun doing it!
Jump right ahead
Just do it, they say. And you really should. Sit down (or not) and pour your heart out into that paper. Overthinking will prevent you from starting and render you incapable of writing when allowed to fester. So, don’t let it and just write. Keep going even if you are not sure about anything. As long as you are on the right track, struggling won’t be an issue soon enough. You can still produce and write something incredible. Because believe it or not, some problems are resolved by simply doing and surrendering to the process.
You can always rewrite and go back to your first draft if you feel like adding something after.
Pretend you’ve never read your work before
Begin reading at the top and pretend that it’s your first time reading it. Through rereading your work, you would realize where you’ve gone off track. Afterward, start writing again like it’s a fresh start for you.
Also, you can try and ‘marinate’ your work. What do we mean by this? Read whatever you finished after a day or two and not immediately after or during. Once you put your pen down, set aside what you’ve written. Reading your work after some time is guaranteed to bring you a fresh take on things.
You can thank us later.
Take a visual approach
Unsure of how to continue a section or chapter? Turn to diagrams, Post-it notes, or just plain pen and paper. Sometimes, visualizing the problem can help. Because when words are not enough is where imagery comes in.
Meanwhile, there are writing techniques that could help loosen writer’s block. These methods can remedy your feeling lost in the middle of constructing sentences. Our advice? Stop waiting for inspiration to strike because you will miss many opportunities if you do. So instead, meditate, breathe, surrender, and write whatever comes to mind.
And to help you get in the zone of writing your masterpiece, here are a few techniques that you can try:
The 30-minutes Challenge / Technique
Did you know that just writing for 30 minutes a day can already help you improve your writing skills? To start this challenge, begin your timer for 30 minutes and start writing whatever your mind can think of. If you have a hard time coming up with a topic, you can always start with events that transpired in the day.
When you reach the 30-minute mark, you can write down what distracted you while writing. Awareness of these will enable you to find solutions in preventing them from happening in your next writing session. Repeat this technique for the following day and apply the things you discovered. And before you know it, you have already found your perfect writing routine.
The Pomodoro Technique
In the Pomodoro technique, you can write whatever you want. It could be fanfiction, another chapter of your novel, a random scene, or based on the writing prompts that you can find online. After deciding on a topic you want to write, you can set your timer for 25 minutes and proceed. You must not stop writing until your time runs out. After that, you can take a five-minute break and repeat the whole 25-5. Strictly follow the time for the sake of improving your writing skills.
The Pretend-You’re-Talking-To-A-Friend Technique
There are times that writers can get stuck following the structures and rules of writing. To get out of this situation, you can pretend that you are talking with a friend. For example, you can narrate the story you are working on to your ‘imaginary’ friend. In this way, you can get inspiration on how to write that scene. If this does not work, you can message or text one of your real friends. Tell them the plot you are working on, and ask their honest opinion. You can then add any helpful text into your draft.
The Study A Stranger Technique
This technique involves observing people, strangers going on about their day. You can do this just about anywhere. It can be in a park, on public transport, or on the streets. Get your notepad and write down their physical description and any distinctions that drew you to them. After writing these down, you can now start creating their profile. You can ask yourself what you think about their likes, dislikes, family, backstory, occupation, desires, etc. After completing their profile, you can think of a scenario and theorize how they will project themselves (their thoughts, reactions, emotions, and the like). Think of how they would act in that kind of scenario and other situations they may be in. You will have a basis for writing your story’s starting point with these.
Writer’s block is one of the things that a writer cannot avoid. Many things can affect a writer’s output, such as storylines and deadlines. It is a fact that every writer experiences disruptions throughout their writing career. And as a writer, you should never ignore it. Leaving your writer’s block unattended can lead to consequences and mistakes that you will regret later in life – unfinished works left to collect dust and never to see the light of day.
To escape and overcome this mental stupor, every writer must find the will to continue with their craft. It is, therefore, crucial to steer clear of negative mindsets such as writer’s block ending a writing career. Instead, think of it this way. It can be an instrument in activating the most creative ideas to have ever graced the world.