Today I’m going to be talking about how to overcome writer’s block. I’ve been in a rut when it comes to writing for a couple weeks now. It’s one of the worst feelings, especially if you are a fellow blogger.
I’m going to give you my best tips on how to push through writer’s block. This is what works for me, so hopefully you will find these tricks useful as well.
This post is for bloggers, students, journalists, anyone who needs some help getting through writer’s block.
1. Just start writing
Seems pretty contradicting to say this when you feel like you can’t write and have no ideas, but just start. Sometimes I sit at my computer with a new post open and stare at the screen for 20 minutes. I’ve been trying to start typing whatever comes to my mind if I find this is happening.
This morning I got up, poured myself my yummy cold brew (I nailed making my coffee from home- recipe coming soon!) , opened my computer to a new post, and started writing about writer’s block. And here I am, already 171 words down.
Even if you scrap whatever you wrote when trying this, at least you got something written. It should help get your mind flowing.
2. Eliminate distractions
Put your phone away, turn the TV off, clean your desk, whatever you have to do eliminate any distractions. In an article on GoinsWriter.com, there is a guest post by Ethan Waldman about distraction-free writing.
He states, “First, forget what you think distraction-free writing means. This isn’t about forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do. It’s about using your energy in short bursts to create your best work.”
Ethan Waldman suggests using the Pomodoro technique, “The idea is to pick a task and set a timer for 25 minutes. Focus only on this one task. When the timer rings, take a five minute break, and then do another 25-minute block.”
This technique is useful for all writers whether you are a blogger or college student that has to get a paper done. Do it for 25 minutes, then give yourself a break. It makes it seem like an easier task if you know you’ll get a break in 25 minutes.
3. Take a walk
When you can’t think of anything to write, take a walk. Let your mind relax and not think about anything for a little while.
I like to go for walks around sunset so I can see how pretty the sky looks and really focus on that. I find that when I come back to my apartment I feel rejuvenated and more creative than I did before.
4. Create a content calendar
This tip is obviously geared towards content creators. I don’t have much to say about this because I’m in the process of creating my own content calendar right now. I haven’t used one before and I honestly don’t know how I got this far without one- haha. This is why I’ve been stuck when it comes to writing for 2 weeks now. I don’t have posts planned out so it comes down to thinking of one on the spot.
I have post-it notes and notebooks filled with post ideas, but there is no structure to that. It’s easy to forget that I had an idea written on a post-it note that is now under piles of papers on my desk. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit how unorganized I’ve been lately, because it’s not me at all. I’m working on it though!
Anyways, if you are a blogger I highly suggest a content calendar if you don’t have one already.
[ Related: 5 Ways to Never Miss an Assignment Again }
5. Take a shower
It’s no secret that best ideas come to you when you’re in the shower. There’s a scientific reason for this that I never knew until I started writing this post! Research from TIME shows that when you do boring tasks your brain goes into auto pilot mode, leaving your unconscious mind to wander free.
So take a shower, clean your room, do the laundry, and let your subconscious work it’s magic.
6. Do a “brain dump”
A brain dump is when you, well, literally dump your brain onto paper. Pull out a sheet of paper and scribble down anything that comes to mind. I love doing this so much because it clears my mind.
It doesn’t have to be pretty, you don’t need full sentences, it doesn’t have to make sense. Mine are usually like, “I hate driving, I’m tired, omg I need an oil change, stop thinking about grad school, post tomorrow,” It literally doesn’t make sense, but that’s the great thing about it. Just get any extra crap in your mind onto paper so it stops lingering.
7. Take a day off
I feel like some people won’t agree with this, but if you literally can’t think of anything to write, just take the day off. This contradicts tip #1, but let me explain. We are all human and some days we just need a break. Sometimes life is too much to handle and you really just need a day for yourself.
If you can’t even think of a sentence to start your school essay, just do it tomorrow (unless it’s due the next day- don’t we all know that struggle).
If I’ve stared at my blank new post screen too long, I shut my computer. Don’t force yourself to do something you can’t do. There is always tomorrow. Sometimes we just need a day to refocus ourselves.