Quick and easy tips and tricks to overcome writer’s block.
Writer’s Block’ – something we’re all too familiar with, right? It cages our creative brain cells, haunts us with an inability to maintain any sort of chain of thought, and magically makes every small object and sound seem like the most interesting thing to ponder over.
…oh look, a butterfly!
You wait eagerly with a pen in your hand or your fingers hovering over a keyboard, hoping that at any second those creative juices will kick in and your fingers will frantically start attacking the keys or begin jotting down words on that blank sheet of paper. A couple of hours pass… and still nothing. You loose all motivation, your fingers that were awaiting that magical moment over the keyboard, move away and rest hopelessly against your forehead.
Writer’s Block – The Usual Suspects
There may be many different causes of writer’s block, some common ones are:
- Fear of Criticism – Every so often, writers feel that their work is not up to mark and are scared of displaying their work (and themselves) to the world, and of the criticism that follows.
- Perfection – We want every word written down to be magic, to fit perfectly and to be simply irreplaceable. Many writers seek perfection, but fail to remember that a first draft is akin to a slab of fine marble just waiting to be carved into a flawless masterpiece by the skilled craftsman.
- State of Mind – When our mind is clogged with stress, worries and distractions that life throws our way, we tend to lose clarity of thought and expression in terms of what it is that we’d truly like to emote and convey to the reader.
Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block
- Eliminate Distractions
Get rid of even the smallest thing that may make your mind wander from work. Keep your work space clean and tidy – the less on your desk, the less you’ll be distracted. Find a peaceful and quiet environment to work in – some people prefer working at night when everyone who might distract you is asleep. Mobiles, Internet, friends, family… when you work, keep them all at bay.
- Get Your Blood Flowing
Do any physical activities that give you your own mental peace. When your mind is at peace, you will be far more productive. Go for a walk, dance, go to the gym, do yoga… do whatever you find that gives you peace.
Bonus tip – Some people find meditation very helpful to remain calm and peaceful.
- Free Writing
Spend a short while everyday writing anything and everything you want off the top of your head. Thoughts, frustrations, emotions, every thought you think…no rules, no formats, no punctuations; just write freely. Spend 15 minutes free writing and immediately return to your work, you’ll be shocked to see how the thoughts and ideas just come to you.
- Listen to Music
Many people have found that listening to music while working, helps improve productivity substantially. The type of music is a matter of personal choice. Some people find that classical music helps their creative juices to flow. Many studies have also shown that listening to ambient sounds while working, such as the noise of rain or the sound of waves, helps a person to focus and stay calm.
- Fuel Up
Tiredness and hunger are two main evils that cause Writers Block. Eat properly before working or snack on something small while working; just as you need energy for any physical activities, you also need energy for mental activities such as writing.
- Set Time Limits
Many people have found that they are most productive during the hours just before a deadline, even though they may have tried working on the same project for days. Studies have shown that this is primarily due to the sense of urgency in the mind. The sense of urgency acts like a lubricant for the rusted gears of our brains. Set time limits for yourself for work and know that no matter what, you need to stick to it.
- Reward Yourself
Craving that last piece of cake? Eager to go out with your friends? Can’t wait to watch the latest episode of your favourite T.V. show? Let all these be rewards you give yourself or keep ready for yourself, only once you achieve the target you set out to do.
- Switch Tasks
Sometimes when your brain just stops working and decides to abandon you, just switch tasks and do something else creative. Paint, play an instrument, write poetry, sketch… anything you enjoy, sometimes doing another creative activity can help your mind to get back to its usual productive state, and getting back to your work will be far easier.
There you go… breathe, here’s hoping these tips helps get those creative juices flowing and get those gears in your brain turning once again.
Oh! And tell your imaginary friend I say hey!