10 Ways to Overcome Writers’ Block That Actually Work
Whether you choose to believe in or not – writer’s block is a very real problem that plagues a lot of people who have taken writing on as a profession. Whether it is coming up with the perfect copy for a product or figuring out what next to do in your story, writers have often had to stare down at the void that refused to let them move forward. While every kind of writer faces writer’s block, in this article we will be addressing the one writers come head-to-head with while working on a short story or a book!
Keep in mind you do not have to chase perfection on your first draft. Remember the first draft is for your eyes only. So, write as though no one will ever find out what you are writing. Believe us – it works like a charm.
If you are feeling stuck in your creative piece, then here are 10 things you could do right now that have proved to help overcome writer’s block:
If you have spent all day at your desk writing or in front of your computer hammering out words, you deserve to give yourself a break. Go outside. Take a walk. Smell the flowers. Pet the strays. It will readjust your perspective and you will come back to your work bursting with new ideas. Besides, if you keep sitting at your workstation going over and over your story, your brain will eventually reach a stage of burnout.
There are no rules to writing
Take a walk
If you are struggling with a scene, you can always write ‘they do something to get out of this situation’ and then move to the next part of the story. You can visit the place that blocked you later and fix it. When you are writing, there is no rule that says that you need to write it in any particular order.
Freewriting is good
If you are stuck with one particular piece, there is nothing stopping you from exploring another article or story. Writing prompts are freely available. Choose one that speaks to you and go ahead. Sometimes, we need that nudge. Additionally, you can practice freewriting on apps like Pencil or FocusWriter, which aims to do just that. It makes you concentrate on a blank page and you can just watch the words pour out.
Work on other aspects of your story
If it is the plot that is bothering you, you can always develop your characters. Build them up. Think of the little things that make them unique. Not everything will make it into your book. But as a writer, you need to know your characters like the back of your hand. Not only that – you can also develop other parts of your story as well. Maybe by creating a mind map or by planning out the plot in further detail.
Try writing for 5 minutes
We tend to procrastinate for a lot of reasons. Demotivation is the major one. As is wanting to produce the best possible piece and being scared that you might fail. If you identify the reason why you are unable to sit at your desk and write, it is half the battle won. We suggest showing up every day at your desk to write, even if it is for five minutes. Over time, it will become easier to show up and stay at your work desk for longer than five minutes, writing your story.
Go on a virtual detox
Attention spans have only deteriorated over time. Once, we could produce 300 words in a single sitting. And now, we are constantly distracted by our phones, the apps on them, etc. So, maybe the writer’s block is just a case of being distracted? Try switching off and working in bursts of 30 minutes.
Sometimes, we might become influenced by the content we see online, and replicate it in our work without realizing it. Therefore, it is important to also indulge in virtual detoxes that last longer than 3o minutes. It helps you focus, really tap into your creative self, and write the best version of the story.
Train your brain
More than anything, writers require to bring discipline to their craft. If you commit to writing every morning for one hour before breakfast – stick to it! Your brain will begin to expect the exercise and you will start waking up with fresh ideas, every day. It has also been proved that if you write from 8 am to 9 am every morning, your brain will begin to expect creativity at that hour and will start to produce more creative work, naturally!
Do non-writing things
When you are constantly working on one short story or a book, it is possible to feel as though you have hit a wall. One of the best ways to give yourself a break is by indulging in non-writing but creative things such as going to the movies, visiting an exhibition, checking out a gig at your local café or pub. It will take your mind off your work because your brain will be busy absorbing the work of others.
Put your inner critic on mute
It is easy to get caught up in your head about the writing you are producing. When you are writing, however, just focus on that. Do not listen to your inner critic. You can listen to them once you are done with the first draft of your work.
Write for yourself for sometime
Forget the market. Forget about the readers. Think about yourself. Are you enjoying the story? If you are: good, write on. If not, write the story as the one tale you want to tell yourself. It takes the pressure off and you will watch the words begin to flow.
A lot of authors swear that remembering they have bills to pay makes them shelve all thoughts of a writer’s block and get to work. After all, their job helps them pay for things – and their job is writing!
A good many of them also argue that other people do not face blocks – so why should writers? Other professions, however, do face setbacks and do get demotivated. It is just a little on the nose when you are a writer, because you can measure your productivity in real-time.