More often that I’d like to admit, I deal with a very common issue: writer’s block. I feel like I open my notebook several times during the day, but don’t always write in it. I do keep a journal, but it doesn’t make me feel as productive as pretty much any other kind of writing does. In order to remind myself of ways to fix this situation, I’ve decided to write about it – who knows, it might even help someone else! So here are a few things to do when you’re dealing with writer’s block:
- Pick up a pen or open a new document on your computer, whatever you prefer. Don’t think too much or plan anything, just let the words come out in their rough form and write away. It doesn’t matter if the content’s terrible, the goal is to let it all out. When I want to write but nothing comes out, it feels like I have countless words stuck together, unable to come through. By letting them out without thinking, it’s like I’m clearing the way so whatever comes next will be better and flow naturally.
- Do something that inspires you. Maybe take a nice walk and write about what you saw and how it made you feel, or watch a film and review it. Learn something new and share what you took from it. Read a book and chose a fragment to write in your own words and make your own changes – it could become a completely new and original piece, just don’t let inspiration become plagiarism.
- Write about what’s stopping you from doing so. It can be therapeutic to peruse it, and if you don’t know exactly what’s the reason behind it, you may dig deep enough and find out. Writing about not being able to write is a rather interesting way to contradict yourself!
- Going back to the start of this list, write aimlessly and read it all back. You might find something interesting and focus on it. It could be a whole topic to explore, and even if it’s only a single sentence, you can shape another text around it.
- Do you ever daydream? Put it onto paper. Let your daydreams become written words and from then you’ll find your way. You could write about what you’re seeing, or how it makes you feel, transcribe a completely made up conversation (we all do it in our heads), or combine it all creating a story.
- Save drafts that you think may be useful. When you’re unable to start something new, revising and changing old drafts might help. In fact, one of my favourite texts came from an old three lines draft I had in a folder. Something you’ve written in a moment might make more sense later, so give it a second chance.
- Stop being harsh on yourself. What you’re writing right now may be terrible, but you’re practising and getting something done. If you use this block as an excuse not to do anything, there will be no improvement at all. If there’s nothing to be taken from the last thing you’ve written, not even one sentence, that’s fine. At least you’ve done it, now start something new. Just because you have to work hard for it, it doesn’t mean that it’s bad. Just because something comes naturally, it doesn’t mean that it’s good or better than something you had to work on for a long period of time. Honestly, just write for the sake of doing so, and if you see potential, work around it until you’re pleased.
I hope that this is helpful in some way. Do you have any tips to deal with writer’s block?