Overcoming Writer’s Block
Every writer has come to a point where they just don’t have anything to say right that moment or aren’t sure where to go next in their article/story/book.
When I was almost done writing my book, there was a point when I just was not able to work on it that weekend. I wanted to. I even carried my laptop around the house with me, assuming at some point I would get comfortable and write something.
It’s sat next to me on the couch, taunting and haranguing me. At one point, it seemed to get sarcastic, blinking it’s orange light of low battery.
I wanted to write. I intended on writing each day of that long holiday weekend. I woke up knowing I was going to write that day.
Guess who did not work on her book at all that weekend? ME.
Sometimes I just don’t feel inspired. I know it happens to everyone, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
But there are ways to combat writer’s block!
What Do Others Do?
In order to figure out what other people do, I reached out to a few writers I know to ask them about their number one tip for overcoming writer’s block, and I want to share some of their advice with you.
The Founder and President of Authors Unite, Tyler Wagner, says “The two things I do are go running and then I just write. And keep writing. I use The Most Dangerous Writing App and it’s amazing. You can’t stop typing!”
Be careful! I looked up this app and it is crazy. If you stop typing, it gives you just a few seconds and then erases all your work!
That is certainly one way to stay motivated! Tyler is someone who works very well under pressure, but I am getting anxiety just thinking about all of my writing disappearing just because I took a bathroom break!
Sometimes you’re inspired and other times you aren’t, but when it comes to writer’s block, you just have to push through and keep writing even when you are not feeling it. Take a break, go running, walk away from it for awhile, but then come back push on.
James M. Ranson is the Founder and Director of The Master Wordsmith, and talked about the importance of having an outline.
“If you aren’t working from an outline, stop what you are doing and go make an outline right now. Get all of your ideas out of your head and organized in one place instead of randomly writing. You need to organize your thoughts and ideas, because if you don’t, it’s a recipe for feeling directionless and getting writer’s block. Brainstorming your ideas and having an outline gives you a specific sense of direction, and helps you not have writer’s block in the first place, because you know what to say next.”
Pro Tip: James says that when you’re in the middle of writing a chapter or a blog post and you slam into a block, stop for a moment and ask yourself, “What does the reader need to know about this that I haven’t yet told them?”
“I talk to my friends! When I jam with a friend and just have a conversation and get away from the grind of having to write it, I always find the words for what I wanted to say!”
Jolie says that she surrounds herself with bright, accomplished, inspiring people who are always happy to pitch in and help each other. She likes to change up her environment, too, and enjoys writing in co-working spaces, by the pool, and in off-the-beaten-path coffee shops
I identify so much with this, as talking to someone really opens me up and I can also get their ideas and thoughts, too. Having someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of is so helpful!
What Do I Do?
Thank goodness, the next day I woke up fresh and inspired to keep writing and keep creating! I think a good night’s sleep and a fresh perspective does wonders for an author.
For me, having an outline to work from and scheduled time to focus on my won writing (as opposed to writing for my clients) really keeps me going and motivated to keep going and writing.
I also have learned to take breaks when I need to, in order to stay fresh!
What Can You Do?
In order to combat writer’s block, you have to distract your brain from trying so hard and trying to force it. Forced writing won’t be as good and you won’t FEEL as good about it.
Here are a few things to try:
- Get up, get out and take a walk. Get some fresh air and hopefully a fresh perspective.
- Drop that project from your mind entirely for a while and work on something else.
- Get active! Go to the gym, play a sport, get your heart rate up.
- Take a relaxing break. Trying settling in a comfy chair with coffee and a good book.
- Get social! Call a friend and grab a meal, go see a movie, or just hang out with a glass of wine and chat. Get social and let your brain relax.
Any of these things will help you distract yourself and allow you to come back to your writing a few hours or days later with renewed creativity and inspiration.
How do you overcome writer’s block? Share your experience!
Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Check out my story and freelancing guide, “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” with tons of practical info packed into a short book! I am also putting together a writing course called “How to Write a Book in 3 Months.” Join that mailing list if you’re interested in learning more!