Whether you’ve just started writing or have been writing all of your professional life, at one time or another, you will be the victim of writer’s block. Writer’s block is the problem of not being able to write anything. You’re unable to start a piece. You’ve started a piece, but hit a mental snag and are not able to continue. It happens to all of us. At best, it can be temporary, and just a short interruption. At worst, it can make you feel that writing is not for you. You might feel that you are not meant to be a writer. It can make you feel incompetent, and can really do a number on your self-confidence.
For a lot of writers, it can have such a negative effect, they totally give up on writing. They feel if they were meant to be a professional writer, they wouldn’t be experiencing writer’s block at all. And, if you’re facing a deadline, it can cause you to miss that timeframe, and that can cause you to lose valuable business.
The truth is, all writers experience writer’s block at one time or the other. And, thankfully there are plenty of ways to dig your way out of it and continue writing. Here are a few ways of overcoming writer’s block:
- Using Random Prompts: Choose such prompts as “A teardrop smudged the words of the first sentence.” Stop and think of the rest of that scene. Take some time and flesh it out. These prompts will help get those creative juices flowing again. Also, choose the lyrics of a song and create new lyrics. Photo cards will help, as well. Take a picture from those cards and create a scene.
- Sleep On It: You may have exhausted your brain for that day. You may have too many things on your mind, or you might be trying too hard to come up with ideas to write about. So, put it aside and get a good night’s sleep.
- Stream-of-Consciousness Writing: Stream-of-consciousness writing allows you to use interior monologue to put your thoughts on paper. This type of writing can be difficult to follow, but it can clear your mind of clutter and help you get back on track.
- Unplug the Internet: This will eliminate many of the distractions that are probably keeping you from concentrating on your piece. Sitting in a quiet room without the distractions of e-mail, Facebook, Twitter among others, may do wonders to eliminate writer’s block.
- Read Something: Read a few chapters of a book. A magazine article. A blog. Seeing what others have written can really help. And, one of the best ways to become a good writer is to read as much you can, and it can help you jumpstart the creative process.
- Play A Game: Playing a game can be a nice distraction from the frustrations of writer’s block. It can take your mind off of what you’re focusing on, and give your brain a rest. Games of all kinds can help your creativity and problem-solving skills.
- Throw The Rules Out The Window: There are rules to writing and sometimes they can be very restrictive. Throwing the rules out the window can be very liberating. Just write about any subject as freely as you want. Ignore spelling, grammar, formatting and context rules. Just let it all hang out and you might be surprised how it can help eliminate writer’s block.