Other than painful papercuts, writer’s block is the worst thing we have to deal with as a writer.
I assure you, we all bash our heads against it every now and then. The trick is not to try to prevent it from happening. *guffaws* You’ll never accomplish that.
Instead, I’m here to teach you a few little tricks for getting yourself out of it. Because honestly, it’s easier than you might think.
I know what you’re thinking:
“Exercise? I became a writer because I hate exercise.”
Look, I hate it too, but so does writer’s block! Much like your muscles, it totally responds to exercise … except of beefing up like your quads, it totally melts away.
If you’re caught up in a bad case of writer’s block, consider that you may just be in an environmental rut. I know, I totally just made that up, but it really is a thing.
Try this: Get outside and move your body in a new environment. If you can, go for a walk in a new location. If all you can do is go to the gym, that’s at least something. It clears your mind and gets your endorphins moving – and inevitably there’s some gym drama going on somewhere that you can eavesdrop on and get ideas.
What? That isn’t the only reason I go to the gym.
There’s also the door to the guy’s locker room, which I sometimes stand outside while checking my phone. Because the wi-fi works better there.
Okay, so this only works if you’ve already started a project. But it’s perfect for when you’re in the middle of a piece that was working really well a day ago, an hour ago or even a minute ago, but all of a sudden breaks down.
It’s the worst.
When this happens, shift the point of view. So, you’re writing a story about the chief of a village dealing with an outbreak of influenza. Why not try writings a chapter from the point of view of the first person to die in the village? Or perhaps introduce a character who stumbles on to the village days after the outbreak? I’m not saying you have to keep these chapters in, but seeing things from another point of view will often spark something knew.
If you’re writing nonfiction, as I am when I create copy for clients, try writing as though you were their client, or another member of their team or the product itself.
Seriously, you never know what awesomeness will come out of that sort of mindset shift. I’ve written some truly inspired material this way.
This might seem counterintuitive to what you need to be doing, but when you’re stuck on a project for your boss and you can’t get yourself out of the weeds, take a break and read.
I recommend reading the same sort of genre that you’re writing. If you are working on an essay for a client, go online and start reading a few essays. Need to finish up a few blog posts? Get onto your favorite blog sites and start reading. Sometimes the best way to get out of your own head is to get into someone else’s.
Okay, those are sort of the same thing.
But really, the worst thing you can do when you hit writer’s block is to panic.
Once you start down the rabbit hole of fear that you will never be creative again, you have just guaranteed yourself a nice little stay in that rabbit hole. And who wants to share a hole with a rabbit?
Okay, I totally do too … but you see where I’m going with this.
Instead, try some of these strategies. That way, the next time you find your creativity slipping, you won’t panic; you’ll just pull these exercises out of your top hat like a rabbit.
Full circle, people!
Now, how about some other tips and tricks for whipping your writing game into shape? We’ve got you covered with the Free Resource Library, so go ahead and check it out.
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