Writer’s block can cause anxiety and frustration for any writer. I’m sure it has happened to all of us, at one time or another. Though there are many ways to get rid of writer’s block, these six are my favorite ways to make sure writer’s block stays clear of me and my writing.
- Take a walk, dance around the house, hike or do something else to move your body. I was reading the other day that exercise is one way to spur creativity. Exercise, particularly if we swing our arms or legs across the midline of our bodies, uses both sides of the brain, and enhances the way the two sides of your brain work together. It also will use up some of that energy you would otherwise need to be anxious, while giving you more energy to be creative. It works even better if you make exercise a habit. So, do that physical thing you do, my friends!
- Be creative in a other ways. I like to express my creativity in many different ways, knitting, embroidery, drawing/doodling/coloring, many ways. After a half hour or so, I go back to writing. What other ways are you creative?
- Do a writing exercise or prompt. Be mindful to not write anything that fits with your current project, until you get unstuck. When you do this, you are still writing, but you aren’t working on the project on which you are experiencing the writer’s block. When you go back to your project, you may find you have switched off the block and gained a different perspective.
- Keep writing on your project even if you feel you are unable to write anything intelligible. Especially if you are writing a first draft. Write a bunch of stuff that will be edited out later. Take the pressure off yourself. Keep writing even if all you can write is, “I don’t have a clue what to write and I don’t know what I am writing or doing at this very moment and I feel anxious and ill-equipped as a writer.” Sooner or later, you will write something that works for your project-at-hand. The curse will be broken! Hurray!
- Write at a different place in your writing project. If I am working in the first act of my story, but find I don’t know what to say, I might work on a different scene later in my story. Sooner or later, I will get back to my first act.
- The best way to get rid of writer’s block is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are two main reasons I get writer’s block, either I break my writing habit/ritual or I feel anxious for some reason. My writing ritual tells my brain and body that every day when I sit down in front of my computer my intention is to write. Every cell of my body accepts that fact, and I write. Sure, sometimes I have to stand up and take a break, look out the window or take a short walk. But, all of us should do that, even if just a little bit. It isn’t good for our eyes or the rest of our bodies to just sit and type for hours on end. After I have taken a little break, I can continue.
If I am anxious, I have a different problem creating the writer’s block. I may have a problem with my inner critic. We will discuss the inner critic monster in more depth someday soon. For the time being, know that your inner critic is a piece-of-shit demon that sits on your shoulder and tells you that you aren’t good enough, that you should be doing something else, or it tricks you into procrastinating so you never reach your goals or fulfill your dreams. This inner critic exists only in your mind. It isn’t real unless you give it a life. Please don’t do that. Every single writer you have ever idolized or whose books you have read has had discussions with his or her own inner critic. Every. Single. Writer. Inner critics aren’t a new invention made up just for you. Tell your inner critic to go bother someone else. You will write your story because only YOU can write YOUR story the way it was meant to be written! You will do the dishes or watch your soap opera some other time. Right now, you are busy. So just write! This may not be easy, especially at first. But when you consistently tell your inner critic to piss-off, it will get the hint.
Do any of these ideas appeal to you? Do you have any ways you get rid of writer’s block? Please, talk about them in the comments.