By Daniela McVicker
How do you get over writer’s block? Does writer’s block really exist? Yes, but there are solutions.
Much has been written about overcoming writer’s block. Most of it is pretty redundant. However, there’s some good advice out there. Here, we’ll take a deeper dive into the more common ‘cures’ for writer’s block. After that, we’ll take a closer look at some more unique solutions that you may not have considered yet.
Common Solutions for Writer’s Block
- Get Physical Exercise
Studies show that regular exercise can boost creativity. Just getting active three to four times a week is enough to increase your creativity above those who are sedentary. If your writer’s block manifests as an inability to come up with interesting ideas, this is a great place to start. You may find you cure your writer’s block, and you’ll get a bit healthier along the way.
- Get Outside: Take a Walk or Go to The Park
Like exercise, spending time in nature boosts creativity. It also makes you feel revitalized. There are also benefits to being in the sun. Then there’s the scenery itself, it’s difficult not to be inspired in nature. When you return to your desk, refreshed and revitalized, you may find that it’s easier to dig in and start writing. If you cannot get out as much as you would like, consider working near a window or out on your patio.
- Do Housework or Laundry
It does no good to spend time at your computer ruminating on the fact that you can’t think of anything to write. You just get frustrated, and you don’t get anything done. Sometimes, the best way forward is to take a step back. Go do something else productive. You’ll want to keep your mind engaged and your hands busy, so don’t watch television or nap. When you finish, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment, and will feel ready to revisit your task.
- Engage in a Round or Two of Free Writing
Free writing is just what the name suggests. You simply sit down and start writing. You’re Not confined by any particular topic. You don’t edit yourself, or worry about quality at all. You simply write whatever it is that comes to mind. It’s a great exercise for curing writer’s block.
Some people believe that freewriting is a bit of an idea dump. Get everything out onto a piece of paper, and surely something will stand out as a good idea. Others see it as a way to release all of the clutter in your mind that is distracting you. Whatever the case may be, writing in any form certainly seems to help.
- Write from a Different Location
You need a change of scenery! Get up and head out to your local cafe. If you write in the bedroom, try setting up your workspace in the kitchen for a day. This is an easy technique to try, and you may end up getting great results.
- Now for Some Less Common Solutions
- Take a Short Trip but Bring Along Your Laptop
Honestly, a vacation can really help with writer’s block. Unfortunately, that’s not accessible to everyone. Instead, let’s focus on something that many of us can do. That’s taking a short trip. By that we mean a day long or even half day excursion. Think of a place you can do that’s affordable, and not too far away. Then grab your laptop and go.
As you go, you can pull out your laptop at any time to write about the things you see, people you meet, and experiences that you have. You also get away from the distractions and stressors that often bring on writer’s block.
- Get Your Art Materials Together
Creativity often gives birth to creativity. If writing isn’t working for you, try a different pursuit. Paint a picture. Build something with modeling clay. Work on some sketches. You’ll engage different parts of your brain while still flexing your creative muscle. As you work, you may even find that you begin to think through your writing project.
- Use a Small Activity to Keep Your Fingers Busy During Down Times
It’s okay to take a break and step away from your writing. Just don’t do something that makes you turn off altogether. Do you have a small assembly project lying around? What about some sewing that needs to be done? Find something simple to keep your hands busy while you let your brain disengage a bit.
- Write by Hand
If you haven’t tried writing by hand, you should. There are many documented benefits to this. By sitting down and writing by hand, you improve your focus, memory, and reduce distractions. If you normally write with your computer or laptop, handwriting also creates a change of pace. This alone can shake out the cobwebs and help you jumpstart your writing.
- Write About an Entirely Different Topic Altogether
If you can’t write about one topic, move onto another. If you’ve got a different writing project, great. If not, try one of these ideas:
Write a profile or backstory for a favorite character.
Find a website that gives writing prompts, and see what you can come up with.
Set a timer and try to write a short story in just a few minutes.
Write about things you did that day.
Pretend that you are back in school, and write about your favorite vacation.
Make a list of writing goals you want to accomplish this month.
- Cook a Really Tough Recipe From Scratch
Cooking is a great hobby. Most of us have everything we need to get started. We all need to eat. It’s a productive hobby. It engages the senses. It requires focus. If you’re struggling to write, it can be the perfect distraction. You remain active with your brain in gear. You are doing something productive. You might even learn something about new flavors, other cultures, or just a new technique. When you finish, you can sit back down with your laptop and a great meal to start writing again.
- Go to Happy Hour with Friends And Exchange writing Ideas
Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary pursuit. It shouldn’t be! If you are struggling, reach out to friends and other writers. Head out to a happy hour, and share ideas with your friends. Go to a spoken word event. Join a local group of writers. Check with your local library many have ‘write-ins’ or other events.
So much of this is experimental and dependent upon your own work style and personality. What works for you at some times may not work for you at other times. What works amazingly well for one writer will be an absolute bust for another. Still, keep this repertoire of tips and tricks at the ready. One or more of these are bound to work for you at any given time.
Daniela McVicker is a contributor to TopWritersReview. She has a master degree in English Literature, and she is truly passionate about learning foreign languages and teaching. Daniela works with the students helping them to reveal the writing talent and find one true calling.
Read Authorlink for more tips on writing a book.