As writers, we’ve all experienced it. You know, the blank page, brain fog, shutdown, nothing. The muse has left the building. Yes, writer’s block affects every writer at one time or another, and even the most seasoned scribe is not immune.
Writer’s block can be frustrating and downright annoying, but there are a few things you can do to overcome it.
Here are five tips to cure the writer’s block blues:
- Take a break! Sometimes just stepping away from the task at hand can work wonders. Go for a walk, have a snack, play with your cat, bake a pie, or do something to take you away from the problem. This break refreshes and recharges your body, and provides some space between you and your writing. Changing focus for a while can bring immense clarity when you sit back down to write.
- Keep writing! It may seem counter-intuitive, but it works. If you keep writing something, anything, then you might just tap into your creative side. It doesn’t matter if it’s not your best writing, just free write and get your ideas down on paper (or computer or tablet or whatever). You can edit, revise, flesh out, and rework later on when the muse has decided to return. Remember that having something to work with is better than nothing.
- Read! Again, this may sound somewhat illogical, but reading can inspire new ideas and stir the creative process. You can read about the subject that you are writing about, or something entirely different. It doesn’t really matter. You can even re-read your earlier work to get back in sync with your writing and approach it with a fresh perspective.
- Talk it out! It’s a simple suggestion, but talking about your problem can actually help to solve it. Grab a friend for coffee, join a writer’s support group, find a writing mentor, or just bend your spouse’s ear and explain your frustration. A brainstorming session may just garner fresh ideas and breathe new life into a seemingly stale storyline.
- Use a tool! In this age of modern technology, there is an app or tech gadget for everything. Writer’s block is no exception. There are various apps and software programs on the market today that claim to help with writer’s block. Some help you to stay focussed on your writing by eliminating distractions and procrastination. Others actually help you to organize your ideas, storyline, characters, references, etc. in a structured online format that provides a completely new outlook on your work. A Google search will find several of these products for you to investigate, and even try for free via a trial download.
Next time writer’s block has you down, try some of these tips to get back on track. You might just banish the blank page demon for good!