As a writer, you are generally up for every challenge – whether long-form or short-form, creative or technical writing. But there are times when the words just won’t come to you, or the “flow” doesn’t seem right. That’s when you’ve hit a writer’s block. Most writers try to find a way around or through it but end up getting frustrated or disheartened. Relax, there are some simple ways to ensure you smash your way through writer’s block.
1) Clean Up
Wipe your mind free of all the writing for a while. Take a walk or run, cook a meal, have a relaxing bath – do something monotonous, so your mind is free to ramble creatively, while you are engaged in something soothing. Dame Agatha Christie says, “The best time to plan a book is when you are doing the dishes”. If it worked for the creator of Hercule Poirot, it’ll probably work on your writing block!
2) Write other stuff
Get away from the piece that gives you trouble, and write just for fun. It could be satire, a story, a long Facebook post – anything you want. Sometimes, it could be as simple as taking a break from one form of writing to give you back your inspiration. When you go back to your work, you’ll find the writer’s block has diminished considerably or disappeared completely.
3) Take yourself out of it
Sometimes, you are your own worst critic. Let a friend or family member read through what you’ve written, and then talk the idea over with them. When you do that, you put a little distance between yourself and the subject, and can view it more objectively; you get a spark of an idea that can let you see the piece through.
4) Write multiple versions
Every writer knows that it doesn’t take just one draft to write your best work. When you hit a writer’s block, write a path through it with all the words of which you can think. They might not be the ones you will use in the final version of the writing, but it can help you smooth the road ahead. Once you are over the hitch, you can keep writing. At your next break, review your writing and replace the words you feel don’t fit very well.
5) Bonus: Eat happy food
This is an extra tip that comes with a disclaimer from our senior copywriter, Tanya – “This works for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everybody! But it’s a delicious tip anyway, so include it!”.
She believes that eating “happy” food, like chocolate, releases the endorphins in the brain. These, in turn, help reduce stress, giving the brain the space it needs to overcome the block. So grab a bar of chocolate, and get down to work!
Do you have any tried and tested ways to get through an episode of writer’s block? Let us know what on Facebook or Twitter, we’d love to hear your thoughts.