Everyone one of us has certainly gone through this one. Remember when you had to deliver a speech at your aunt’s friend’s cousin’s party and you kept putting it off because every time you sat to write, nothing… happened. Or perhaps, it was the history paper you had to write or even a song you needed to come up with for band practice.
We all have those moments where our writing well… sucks. Or, maybe we find that we can’t even write at all. When this occurs, you have two options. You can give up and say ‘hey, I tried my best’ or you could actually beat this horrid thing called writer’s block. Here are five tips for dealing with writer’s block.
I. Take off the pressure
This tip works better when you’re honest with yourself and can define the kind of writer you are. Are you someone whose genius streak only begins to show up when there are looming deadlines? Does the pressure get to you and affect the quality of your work? If you’re a deadline kind of person, then take off the pressure and do something connected to writing but not exactly writing. For instance, you can spend the time making sure everything is in place for when you do need to start writing. If the pressure of a deadline affects you negatively and causes you to experience writer’s block, then get an early start! Don’t wait till it’s the night before. Whatever method you choose, be sure to take off the pressure when writing. Writing without stress will make your creative juices flow a lot faster.
II. Write “over” it
Say you’re trying to get across to the other side of the room so you can catch up on a sitcom you really love, and your annoying sibling refuses to move so you can pass. Do you move away and give up watching the sitcom or look for ways to go over your sibling? Your guess is as good as mine. You can deal with writer’s block the exact same way. Write over it. In essence, don’t give in. Keep writing. If you persist, feelings of resistance would give in and you’ll find yourself writing easier as you move along. No one is saying it has to be perfect either, just continue to write. If you keep at it, you just might find your writing sliding over from terrible to terrific.
III. Have a writing routine
What do Maya Angelou, Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and William Faulkner all have in common? Yep, that’s right. They all had writing routines. They devoted a certain amount of time to complete a specific word count and stuck to them. If you find yourself suffering from writer’s block frequently, it may be a good idea to incorporate this into your writing life. Set a writing routine and stick to it. Whether you’re feeling inspired or not, show up! Get through the horrid first draft. The one that creeps you out as you read through. According to a lot of successful writers, learning to write every day is an important part of being a better writer. Soon, you’ll find that it’s easier and quicker to get into the heart of your writing.
IV. Read someone else’s work
What do you do when inspiration takes too long to strike? Read someone else’s work. Interacting with the creative minds of other people can just be the formula you need to evoke your own ‘aha’ moment. So, next time you can’t write, read! Yup, pick up that book you’ve never gotten round to finishing and complete it. In doing so, you might find ideas for your writing that actually work. Don’t forget to keep a journal for your ideas as you read and write.
V. Do something else
This sounds pretty contradictory because, in the previous points, I’ve harped on not giving up. However, there are times writer’s block occurs due to mental fatigue. If you’ve had a mentally exhausting day, it’s alright to do something else if the writing isn’t flowing. You could take a shower or take a stroll through your neighborhood. This will help you feel re-energized and ready to begin writing again in no time.