- Books, Literature, and Writing
How to Bust through a Writer's Block
If you've spent any significant amount of time writing, then you've probably faced a moment or two when nothing comes to mind; no thoughts, no ideas, no words. If you're such a talented writer that you've never experienced a writer's block, then good for you. But for the majority of us out in the world that write, either professionally, for a little extra money, or for fun, motivation and ideas are two things that flow like crests and troughs.
Writing is a difficult thing to do, especially if a lot depends on the quality of the content you produce. Whether it is car payments, rent, food, or extra money to play around with, monetary motivation for writing is often troublesome and very nervewracking.
Now, having gone to school to become a professional putter-of-words-to-paper and spent my whole career writing and reporting, I have a few techniques that I have used to bust through that writer's block. Hopefully they are helpful to you, too.
Change of Enviroment
One of the biggest reasons a writer will begin to stumble when writing is due to boredom. Not that writing is boring, but if you're the type of writer that stays at home and writes everyday in the same environment, looking at the same things, experiencing the same noises, you'll inevitably come to a writer's block.
A change of environment is good, not only for writing. Go to a local coffee shop - maybe try somewhere different than Starbucks - the music in the atmosphere, the different voices you'll hear, the chaotic sounds of caffeine-desiring patrons will evoke new feelings in your body and mind. This will get your juices flowing again. And when your creative juices are flowing, then words will surely follow.
Doodle on a Notepad
Writers often travel with computers, cellphones, cameras, and news sources (papers, magazines, press releases). However, one of the most vital components of my writing arsenal is a notepad. My notepad is used for a million different things - ideas, phone numbers, names, places - but most importantly, to doodle. Doodling is one of the best ways to get your brain working again. Ever noticed how many times a quick drawing will lead to shading; shading will lead to more shapes; and all of a sudden you've got a full drawing in your hands? Well that's because creativity breeds more creativity. That is why I always like to carry my notepad with me. Even before the computer comes out of the bag, the notepad comes first.
Force yourself to Write
Even if you end up writing the same sentence over and over again. Even if you're hitting backspace more often than you're typing letters, one of the keys to breaking a writer's block is forcing yourself to write. By forcing yourself to sit down and think about what you're doing, you're ensuring that your brain is working on only one task - to write. Forget about going for a walk or taking photographs to get your mind off of writing; just write.
I think of it this way: You know that sensation you get when you've got a plate of food in front of you and are struggling to get through it? Well never do you get out of your seat at the restaurant and start chatting to other patrons in order to get your mind off of eating, do you? You just sit there and bare with it and eat - until everything is done. The same goes for writing. Just bare with the writer's block. If you're writing at the moment, you've obviously had some successes with words, so allow your brain to figure itself out.
Now, I don't claim to be an expert in writing or ways to write. But, I have made a career out of writing, and I have, on many occasions, faced a writer's block. Many people think the whole thing is just psychological and some even think it is nonsense. For those of you who have experienced that terrible sensation of not being able to write anything for long periods of time, you know that the block is real. Hopefully the tips above help you get back on track and back writing!