There it is. That blank screen. It’s staring back at you like an accusing eyeball.
Where is your post? it’s asking. Your readers are waiting, it says. Start typing! it shouts at you.
And there you sit. Silent. Hands in your lap. Nothing is coming. You have nothing to say. Just like yesterday.
Writer’s block has come to your desk and made himself right at home.
But, you can and will send him running for cover if you follow these 5 Strategies for Breaking Through Dreaded Writer’s Block.
First, recognize that it’s not the end of the word… I mean, world. More words will come, I promise. Pay heed to this quote,
When you understand that we all experience this at one time or another in our writing lives, you can stop and assess the situation with a keen eye on creating results, not on whining about how it only happens to you. Relax, and consider your options.
Put these strategies in action, and you will overcome your writer’s block in no time.
- Get out of your own way… and read. Yes, read. Then read some more. Read books, newspapers, blogs, magazines, and even cereal boxes. Reading will spark your inner muse and often leads to creativity. I read fiction for entertainment and stimulation. But, I read blogs for inspiration. Find reading material that breaks through your worry, and make sure you have a yellow marker in hand.
- Turn the tables on yourself… and write a letter. “But I’m blocked!” you’re shouting at me, right about now. “I have WRITER’S BLOCK, Yvonne!” Hogwash. You’re just in a slump. You need to write something that isn’t part of what you’re supposed to be writing. Write a letter. To your Mom. Yes, write a letter to your mom. Tell her I told you to. She will love me. And you, she will love you, too.
- Create your own inspiration… and take a hike. Yes, get out of your chair, your house, your neighborhood. Put on your hiking books and go enjoy nature. Let the beauty all around you stimulate your creative juices. Record your thoughts, as you walk among the snow or leaves or trees, on your phone. Enjoy the day, without worrying about your silly problems. When you get home, have a nice cup of tea and watch reruns of Friends. Yes, by then you’ll be saying to yourself, “And I thought I had problems!”
- Put the problem on someone else’s shoulders… call up a friend and cry. Yes, I said cry. Wail. Slobber into a box of tissues and tell your friend, make it a good friend, okay?, why the whole world is against you and you’ll never be able to finish the book, story, blog post or article. Your friend, if she’s a good friend, as recommended, will pooh-pooh it all and remind you this very same thing happened six months ago when you were stuck on another writing project and didn’t that one turn out okay?
- Give your writing a rest… and read/edit a friend’s writing. This is secondary to #1. When you offer to help a friend out, especially by reading and commenting on their work, or by helping edit their work, you take yourself into a different place of writing and it helps your inner struggle to find words of your own, calm down. Make sure you’re putting the right effort and focus on your friend’s work. They deserve your undivided attention. Once you’re done, you will be amazed at how your muse returns, often more inspirational than before!
The belief in writer’s block is often just a self-fulfilling prophecy. For me, a pause in my writing, whether on purpose or thrust upon me by the Universe, is a reason to remember I am first and foremost a social person, who needs to be part of a bigger whole. I do all of the above, now and then, and it may have helped me avoid actual writer’s block, over the years. I find the company of others, family, friends, writers and bloggers, fulfilling and fun and interesting and so full of the variety of life, I could discover dozens of ideas from each conversation or meal shared together. It’s the reason I write at all.
Are there other, better ways to overcome writer’s block? Is there a trick you’ve discovered that can be shared? I hope you’ll comment with your thoughts. Or, bring them to the 8th BlogPaws Social Media Educational conference in June…this year. I’d love to sit over coffee and chat about it with you!