It’s about that moment when you freeze in front of your keyboard or sheet of paper with a blank page staring right at you, asking you to share your thoughts. Yet, you’ve drawn a blank even wider than the one you’re looking at.
If you’re a writer, you know exactly what I’m talking about—that pretty irritating writer’s block that can give you a helpless feeling of not knowing what to conjure up and put it into words that everyone can comprehend. Even though it’s been easy to stress out about it, I’ve realized that there’s never a need to feel like there’s no hope, because there is something you can do about it—a few things, in fact!
- Get Inspired
First and foremost, you need to spark your motivation. The following are several ways through which you can push the right button to get your creativity moving:
- Take Breaks
Most of us tend to think that taking frequent breaks can actually take a stab at productivity, but if you’ve read my past articles, then you know why I’m an advocate of taking these uber effective breathers. The simple reason is that your brain and eyes need to take breaks to recharge.
I try to follow the rule for preventing eye-strain (also known as the 20/20/20 rule). This rule simply states that you should:
- Stop what you’re doing each 20 minutes and blink several times.
- Then, look at something that’s at a 20-foot distance.
- Take this break for at least 20 seconds.
- Dream Away
Next up, dive into the imaginative world of daydreaming. This will clear your mind while inspiring you to gather your thoughts and come up with an idea to write. For instance, you might be thinking of somewhere you’d like to be at the moment or recollecting a distant memory. Whatever the case, you’ll be able to capture your calm and translate your reflections into literary flawlessness.
- Resort to Media Sources
Inspiration can come from several sources including music lyrics and captions from movies or different television series. If you already have an idea about the subject you’d like to write about, then you can watch a relevant film, or even a short YouTube video.
In addition to turning to music and film, reading online articles, books and magazines can all have a positive effect on triggering your train of thought. Whether you plan on thoroughly reading educational articles or taking a glance at impactful images, choose what can get your thought process moving. Pinterest is a great platform for collecting inspiration from various pictures/pins.
You can even talk to friends or family members to get ideas. Sometimes it’s helpful to reach out to a wider audience through social media venues like Facebook and Twitter. Just ask a question and see how many responses you get. This is especially helpful for writers who are conducting research and surveys.
- Analyze Your Topic of Interest
Once you’re inspired, it’s time to think about what exactly it is you want to write about and break it down into pieces. Some writers are more visual than others, so it even helps to lie out your thoughts in the form of a drawing.
You should analyze all your ideas and conclude an analysis of what you’ve written. This will help you form an outline, which can be a tentative one. The beauty of writing is that you can always tangle and untangle your choice of words, which leads us to the tip #3.
- Get Unorganized
Keep in mind that you don’t always have to start from the beginning of the piece you’re writing. You might have come up with the second part of it before the first, which is totally fine!
Ask yourself questions about possible scenarios and problem scenarios, using the famous five Ws:
You can even add “Why?” and “How much?” to have all your grounds covered.
Just draft your ideas as they come, even if you start from the middle and work your way out. You can then restructure your sentences and paragraphs as you’re writing or proofreading your work. Often times, I find myself restructuring my work, adding more words and eliminating phrases altogether, even when I think I’m already done writing.
- On a Deadline? Outsource!
With so many sources readily available to help writers out these days, you should certainly take advantage of them. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is an excellent online tool that allows journalists to pitch a query with a deadline to get the public’s feedback.
Some of the most well-known media outlets use HARO regularly. You might even want to be a source of information and have the chance to be featured on one of those major outlets.
ProfNet is another great source you can use to submit your query and search a database of experts. You can then communicate with the one that matches the needs of your story, and get going with your work.
When you’re writing and need to avoid distractions, use noise-cancelling headphones and listen to concentration music. I sometimes listen to classical relaxation playlists since listening to music with vocals can sometimes be distracting.
Ommwriter is a really cool tool you can use to help you zone everything around you out, by creating a private writing room for you and getting rid of all distractions you might have around you or on your computer. Soothing audio tracks are available along with the option to choose your favorite serene color for the background.
- Keep a Positive Attitude
Lastly, don’t forget to look at the glass half full all the time. Getting stressed out will actually make it a lot tougher to cure your writer’s block. So always remember to take a deep breath and stay calm because there are so many solutions to try out.
Your perseverance will take you a long way. The more you focus on the clock and get anxious about the passing time, the more the pressure you put on yourself will hinder your thought process.
Try to build a routine of creating a positive mindset. For instance, think about how many times you’ve overcome writer’s block; if you did it once or more, you can do it again, right? Plus, you have all the reinforcement you need above to remedy an absence of thought when necessary.
Ready, Set, Write!
As a copywriter completing about fifty articles per month, writer’s block is definitely no stranger to me. I know that it could sometimes be hectic to have to come up with new ideas in time to meet strict deadlines. But trust me, once you’ve snatched a few of the mentioned tips and have them under your sleeve, you’ll be back on track with your writing genius in no time!