Are you haunted by writer’s block? Are your creative thoughts and ideas ghosting you? The torturous feeling that’s as agonizing as it is inevitable – nearly every writer struggles with “getting stuck” while writing and creating.
For many professionals – including myself – writer’s block is a massive inconvenience, delaying the overall writing, editing and approval process. For those working on deadline, combating writer’s block is critical in ensuring timeliness. If you’re on the brink of a creative meltdown, try some of these useful tips to get the words flowing and fingers moving.
Remember it’s psychological
Writer’s block isn’t a real or accepted condition that can be identified or scientifically proven. Instead, it’s a condition that exists and manifests inside your own head. According to Merriam-Webster, writer’s block is “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.” To understand ways to bypass the block, it’s important to realize the blockage is psychological – meaning, we believe the lie and therefore act accordingly. Similar to the self-fulfilling prophecy, if you’re expecting or predicting a certain outcome, whether true or not, your behaviors will align to fulfill those beliefs.
Next time you’re faced with writer’s block, start by simply reminding yourself that you will overcome the blockage and it’s nothing more than a manifestation of self-doubt.
Take a step back
If you’re becoming frustrated, try simply removing yourself from the writing space. Distract yourself with another activity, preferably creative, that will allow you to take the pressure off yourself. Design a logo, capture photo and video, paint a picture, edit content or write creatively. Jumping from one creative task to another can help activate your imagination and spark creativity.
Start with an outline
Revert to the basics in order to get the ball rolling. There’s no harm in taking a few steps back to organize ideas and build the framework. The first draft is not the final draft just as Rome wasn’t built in a day. There’s plenty of time for wordsmithing and polishing, so start with the foundation of the story before perfecting the verbiage. Once the framework is complete, the pieces will fit more clearly.
Get up and get your body moving. When your body flows, your mind flows along with it. Aside from distracting your mind and giving your brain a break, the activity allows you to explore a new environment that could spark unexpected and unplanned inspiration.
Go on a walk through your neighborhood, jog along a trail or practice yoga in order to open your mind and activate your body. According to Psychology Today, focusing is easier when the body is in a relaxed state.
Write in the morning
Writing can be exhausting and creatively draining, especially after a long day. Revisit your work in the morning while your mind is still fresh and your body is refreshed. Sometimes the best cure for writer’s block is simply to “sleep on it” and try again. According to LifeHacker, creativity peaks in the morning as the “creative connections in our brains are most active.” Dreams are a great example of this autonomous creativity.
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