Let’s talk writer’s block for a minute. If you’re reading this then you’ve likely suffered it a time or two but let’s go over it anyway. Merriam-Webster defines writer’s block as “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.” 1 In other words, when you’re writing and all of a sudden you just can’t anymore. I’ve been going through my own writer’s block lately, so I thought I would put together some of my own suggestions, as well as some that I’ve researched through other bloggers.
Here’s my list:
- FREE WRITE: I think this one is fairly self-explanatory, but we’ll discuss it anyway. Write. Set a timer and grab your favorite writing utensil (mine happens to be a freshly sharpened pencil and paper) and just go at it. The goal isn’t to end up with usable material, but rather just to write without worry. This is often how I create some of my best work and characters I never thought I’d find.
- GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD: This one is my personal blend of various suggestions from both Reedsy 2 and an article by Ginny Wiehardt 3. Do something different to take your mind off the writing, like taking a shower 2or completely reconsider the area you are writing in 3. If you write in a stuffy office, try heading outside onto the porch/deck/patio and writing in fresh air. If you hate sunshine, find a dreary spot to drum up those mystery plots.
- RUN, CARDIO, RUN: This one is my personal favorite, and it ties into number two nicely. Get outside and run, jog, walk, skip…anything that gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Personal experience tells me that forms of cardio can clear your head and take your worries away, leaving your brain free to create. If you’re not into running, don’t worry, a simple walk outside can have a similar effect.
- TALK IT OUT: Sometimes, as with all situations in life, all we need is to talk it out. If you’re comfortable talking to yourself, go that route, but a writer friend or a therapist is also a good choice 3.
- DON’T STRESS YOURSELF OUT:I know this one is much easier said than done. Stress seems like a basic necessity these days, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s okay to have a blog, and it’s okay to take a break from writing when you can’t do it anymore. Even if you have a looming deadline that is making it harder to relax, step back and breathe, get out of your head and then go back and see what happens.
This is by no means an extensive list of things you can do to combat writer’s block, but it’s a start. If you’re finding yourself frustrated over a piece of writing why not try one of these out? Or go ahead and jump over to the blogs linked below and see if there’s something else that helps.
- “Writer’s block.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2019. Web. 23 June 2019.
- “How to Overcome Writer’s Block,” Reedsy, https://blog.reedsy.com/writers-block/, (23 June 2019)
- Ginny Wiehardt, “10 Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block,” https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-tips-for-overcoming-writer-s-block-1277776, (23 June 2019)