Dealing with Writers Block
It’s funny. As I sat down to write this post, I suffered from the very thing this blog entry is about. How do I start this? How should it end? What about all those sentences in between? We’ve all experienced it at one point or another, and we’ve all came to the same conclusion: Writers block is scary.
So how do you fix it? What are the steps that need to be taken in order to successfully combat this horrible dilemma? Unfortunately, I can’t give you the perfect solution. Nobody can. However, I can arm you with some proper tips that will aid you in this battle against writers block. After all, nobody should go into this fight unarmed.
Take a break.
It’s not the most original idea, but it’s absolutely amazing how many people seem to forget it, especially with a deadline looming. This is how things usually go down: You’re sitting at your keyboard, pulling at your hair, unable to produce a single word. Suddenly, you have something! You begin writing a few words and…no, that’s not right. You slam the backspace key and hold it down, and the frustration continues to build.
Now the anger starts snowballing. Stop yourself before this happens. It’s okay to get up and take a break! Step away from the keyboard and do something else for a bit. Take a walk. Play a game. Watch TV. Just relax. Do anything that doesn’t involve your work. During this time, two things will (hopefully) happen. The first thing is that you might suddenly come up with a great idea. The brain works in funny ways, so you’ll be surprised how many times you’ll have an “Aha!” moment in the shower or while at the movies. The second thing that might happen is that you’ll return to your work completely refreshed. Look at things with a new perspective, and the sentences should start flowing again.
The work will get done.
Ah, nothing like that paralyzing fear that always comes with writers block. “I can’t think of anything, I’ll never think of anything, my deadline is right around the corner and I’m so toast!” You cannot let these thoughts chokehold you into this mindset. Reassure yourself that the work will get done. It may take longer than expected, but you will find a way to get it done. If you need to pull an all-nighter, who cares? Writers block gets worse the more you stress out about it, so don’t stress. Relax. You will find a way.
Not literally. What I mean is that you should jump around your work to different sections. If a particular spot in your work is giving you trouble, come back to it later. It’s not going anywhere. Can’t think of a catchy beginning to hook your readers in? No problem. Just start writing from the point you feel comfortable, and come back to it when you feel the time is right. Sometimes, as you write other parts of your piece, you’ll come up with great ideas for a beginning or end that really pulls the whole article together.
Change locations or try a different method of writing.
Some people can write anywhere. Others need to be in the right place at the right time. Perhaps you’re one of the latter. Bring your writing to a variety of places that you think will inspire you. The park, a coffee shop, near the water…these are all excellent options for you to consider when you sit down to write. If the change in scenery isn’t doing the trick, try changing your method of writing. Typing up a document on a laptop? Take out a pen and some paper, instead. What about a typewriter? It’s old fashioned, sure, but its unique style could rejuvenate you in unexpected ways. Be sure to give everything a try!
Writers block is always tricky. There is no sure fire solution. There probably never will be. The only thing you can do is remember these tips and constantly reassure yourself that you will get over the hump. It’s just a matter of time and persistence. Don’t stress yourself, and you’ll be on your way in no time.