All writers, from the seasoned scribe to the novice reporter, find themselves battling writer’s block. Sometimes your head is just not in the game, and the only solution is to employ tactics that will help you push through. Below are ten tips for overcoming those mental walls and getting back to writing.
- Change Your Scenery: When you’re stuck, one of the best strategies is to simply take a break. Get up, go talk to someone, go for a walk – just do something different. Let your mind reset and soon you’ll be ready to start again.
- Change Your Methods: Some people button their shirts from the bottom up. But there’s nothing wrong with starting at the top and working your way down. One person I know likes to do jumping jacks at scheduled intervals throughout the day. Mixing up your personal patterns can open up your approach to writing.
- Surf the Web: Are the Florida Marlins still in freefall? Are you keeping up with the Kardashians? Checking out the latest sports news or celebrity gossip can be a great way to take a mental break. After a few minutes, you’ll be ready to get back to work.
- Start in the Middle: Getting started can be the hardest part of writing. One way to get the gears moving is to focus on the core of the story first, and then go back and develop the introduction. If it works for elementary school students, it should work for you.
- Read: Sometimes you need to experience another person’s style of writing to relax your mind. Even just a few minutes of reading can reinforce those creative juices.
- Free Associate: A new blank page, free of restrictions, can be liberating. Type whatever pops into your head and let go. It doesn’t have to make sense; the point is to regain your flow.
- Play a Game: You have to be careful with this one or you may find yourself losing time. But a quick game can be a good tactic to help you restart.
- Write Something Else: Topics, regardless of your level of interest, can get stale. Getting started on another project can be just the solution. When you do go back to the original task, you’re more likely to see it with fresh eyes.
- Take It Easy: Evidence to the contrary, there is such a thing as thinking too hard. When you hit that wall, don’t overreact. Calmly assess where you are in your process, identify next steps, and methodically proceed. No reason to beat yourself up.
- Research: Writer’s block is often caused by the feeling that you don’t know all you need to know about your subject. You can solve that problem by increasing your research. Google away!
What do you do to overcome writers block? I’d love to hear what you do when the thoughts for your new blog just are not flowing.