Breaking Through Writer’s Block

Every writer knows the frustration of staring at a blank computer screen, stuck for words and unable to write a worthwhile sentence. You may have started the day bursting with ideas but for some reason, when you are ready to write, they have all dried up. So what should you do about it?

Firstly, don’t panic. There are many techniques you can employ to help you overcome temporary writer’s block. Here are a few ideas

Your body must be in fit and healthy for your mind to work well!

If you want to understand why your writing is blocked; think about what has been different about your life recently.

  • Have you been feeling ill?
  • Has you been eating things that you don't normally eat?
  • Have you done significantly less or more physical exercise than normal?
  • Have you been worrying about something?
  • Has your sleep been disturbed?
  • Has anything else changed?

Sometimes you can reignite your writing by doing something to freshen the mind.

Take a walk. A short walk will give you energy, improve blood circulation and help you to think more clearly. Giving yourself some space from the project will take the pressure off and could stimulate some brilliant new insights that have you racing back to your keyboard.

Move on to another part of the story. If you’re struggling with the heart-felt love scene because images of the dramatic sword fight keep intruding, don’t fight it. You do not need to write your story chronologically. Start wherever you feel like starting and as you complete each section of the story, you can add it to the overall body of work.

Just start typing. Type whatever comes into your head. Sometimes the mere act of writing a sentence, even a sentence about what you had for lunch, is enough to get you over the mental speed bump.

Get your chores done. Everyday distractions can eat away at your concentration so trying to write when you have a  task nagging at the back of your mind could be a waste of time. If you need to bring the washing in, phone the dentist or write a grocery shopping list and you just can’t get it out of your head, do that first and then come back to your writing.

Phone a friend. Isn’t it strange how you were able to paint a thrilling picture of your ideas over coffee with your mum but when you sat down at your computer, your head was suddenly empty? Reignite your passion for your creative work by telling the story aloud – either to a friend, the mirror or even your cat.

Read something. Sometimes reading a few pages of your favourite book will be enough to kick-start your creativity.

Being literally lost for words may feel like the end of the world when you are trying to produce your literary masterpiece, but remember that writer’s block is generally a temporary condition. It will go away so don’t let it get to you.

Sometimes "writers block" can become a recurrent problem.

If you are having problems more and more often; you probably need to make a more significant and permanent change to how you live,

Some writers achieve this by taking a break and travelling; others may develop a new interest, move house; take up a sport or hobby; or anything else. Breaking your routine; no matter how comfortable it might be; may be the best way to overcome writers block.

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If you would like to improve your creative writing skills, check out the following online courses.