11 Ways to Overcome Writer's Block
The coffee is brewed, your computer is up and running, and a fresh blank screen is waiting for your words. But nothing comes. You’ve had brilliant ideas, exciting ideas, for days. You couldn’t wait to get in front of the computer. And now nothing! What happened?
What is going on?
Writer’s block is one of the most frustrating aspects of writing. We’ve all been there. But what causes the creative juices to stop flowing? How do we stop the cursor from just blinking on the blank screen, taunting us, waiting for our genius to pour out?
There are many reasons one can have writer’s block. One reason I keep finding over and over again in my research is fear. As creative people, we are perfectionists. We have ideas, but when we try to convey them on paper (or on the screen), they just don’t seem quite good enough or brilliant enough. We want to get it just right. But as the pressure mounts, so does the paralysis.
Another reason is that we may have too many ideas running through our heads. Jeff Goins puts it like this, “What I have experienced is paralysis due to too many ideas.” He also says that sometimes when we feel “blocked” we may actually be experiencing the call to wait.
So, what do we do when writer’s block rears its ugly head? Here are 11 ideas to release you from your writer’s block.
- Write anyway. Write anything. Sometimes just getting started is the hard part. Once you do, the words will come.
- Take a walk. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Give your mind time to process your ideas further.
- Listen to music. Music is an excellent tool for inspiration. Music activates all areas of the brain, sparking the inspirational flow.
- Dictate. There is no quicker way to capture your ideas in a freestyle form. Sometimes speaking your ideas first releases the flow of creativity.
- Walk away from it for a while. Sometimes our brains just need a break.
- Get your blood flowing by exercising. I love to go for a run.
- Eat something. Yes, I said to eat. Your brain uses a lot of glucose when it’s working hard at being creative. Sometimes giving it a bit of sugar will get the creative juices flowing again.
- Rid yourself of distractions such as social media, chores, deadlines, to-do lists hanging over your head.
- Write from the heart; don’t write to be perfect. You will find that some of your best writing is done when you write from the heart and when you write what you feel without worrying about perfection.
How do you overcome writer’s block? Share in the comments below.