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Tips to Break Writers Block

Updated on June 13, 2013

You sit there, staring, empty thoughts like little sparks trying to ignite an idea circling your brain. Something, anything to put words on paper…… but nothing. Minutes pass, then hours and before you know it, days have passed. You try to get back at it again, and like before, nothing emerges. Am I really out of ideas? Why is my brain not drawing any conclusions? Is there nothing of substance that interests me right now? We all go through it, writers block. And it is absolutely frustrating. How do you overcome writers block? Here some thoughts to explore, maybe one will give you an idea, maybe not, but at least get your mind thinking again.

1) Review What You've Written: When we write about what we know, sometimes our ideas get lost because we think we've already written on the subject. If you spend the time to go back through your work, you may find that your views have matured giving you a new angle to explore, or that you missed a point you were trying to make entirely. Either way, exploring your work is a good practice to refine your voice.

2) Learn Something New: What better way to come up with material than to learn about something you don't know. Wether it be a topic, a location, a news event, whatever....expand your horizons and dive into some research on something new to you. Not only will this get your mind working again, you may uncover a treasure trove of ideas that you never knew you had.

3) Change Your Routine: Doing the same thing over and over yields the same results, over and over. If you’re current routine has brought you to a stand-still, what makes you think it will change? You’ve got to actively make a change to change the outcome of your efforts. Change the time you get up, or fall asleep. Change your hair, or your clothes, order different foods, watch different TV shows, little thing that can get your mind working in a different way.

Don't panic when you don't have an idea
Don't panic when you don't have an idea

4) Go for a Walk, or Take a Drive: Changing scenery and landscapes can get your creative juices flowing again. Being out with nature or the speed with which the scenery changes while driving down the road can clear your mind or fill it up with ideas. Either way, it’ll help change the status quo.

5) Talk to People: Get out of your own head. Often times we think we can “think” through our ruts. We need to step outside of ourselves and talk to other people. Participate in society, be a part of the world and let the world show you something inspiring. You can’t do that if you’re shut inside, talking to yourself.

6) Go to a Movie, Theater, Comedy Club, any Performance: See what’s going on in the performing art world. Life and Art go hand and hand, so it would make sense that being around it could help jump start some ideas.

7) Meditate, Pray, or Sit in Silence: Its remarkable the transformation that comes over you when you sit in silence and meditate or pray. The thoughts that come into your mind like rapid fire can be overwhelming at times. Even more remarkable is how it all works when you tell yourself not to think about anything. Trying to still the mind is nothing short of impossible at times.

8) Make Lists: Make lists, a lot of them. Of things you like, things you don’t like, places you’ve been, where you want to go, your favorite colors, ice creams, cars, artists, etc. Just start making lists. You’ll be surprised how much you learn about yourself.

9) Start a new relationship/friendship, talk to strangers: Bring new people into your life to shake things up. New perspectives, new ideas, make some new friends. All of this will help you grow as a person and a writer.

10) Write about having nothing to write about!! Just start writing, explore your own thoughts, whatever they may be. Even if it is something uninteresting or frustrating. By expressing it, you’ll clear the clutter and free up room for more thoughts to enter.

Last but not least.....stop trying. If you're not coming up with something, put it away for a while. There is nothing wrong with simply letting time work its magic. Writing should be fun, engaging and an expression of who you are. If you're trying to force it, chances are you will cross that bridge where you find yourself not enjoying what you're doing. Writing is not for everyone. It takes a lot of work, patience and willingness to be frustrated. If you can do those things, it is very rewarding when you do finish what you started.


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