How to overcome writer’s block is a common problem for any writer. Sometimes it can be hard to come up with ideas, or the writer may not know how to express their thoughts in a way that will grab the reader’s attention.
Writer’s block is just a mental barrier that prevents you from writing. It can happen at any time, no matter how experienced you are.
However, there are easy and convenient ways to overcome writer’s block. Continue reading to learn these tips and tricks.
What is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block is a condition in which an author cannot produce new work or feel a creative slowdown. It is most commonly linked with writing.
This creative standstill is not caused by a lack of commitment or writing skills. It might range from trouble coming up with fresh ideas to being unable to produce an output for years.
The passage of time without writing isn’t the only indicator of writer’s block. It is measured by the amount of time that passes without any progress on the task.
What Causes a Writer’s Block?
A variety of factors can cause writer’s block. Some are creative issues that arise from the author’s work. You may run out of ideas or become sidetracked by other events in your life.
Sickness, depression, a breakup, financial pressures, or a sense of failure may all contribute to writer’s block. Working on a genre or topic that you don’t like can also paralyzed your writing abilities.
You can also trace a writer’s block in the limbic system. When you are stressed, the brain “shifts control from the cerebral cortex to the limbic system.” As a result, your cerebral cortex’s function is limited, making you “stuck” creatively.
Fear is a problem for most authors. The fear of making a mistake and being criticized can hinder a writer’s creativity. There is also the fear of being turned down by publishers or readers.
Whatever causes your writer’s block, the good news is that there is a solution to get your mind back in the game.
13 Solutions to Overcome Writer’s Block
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Making an outline will help you keep track of your plots and overall direction. Because the outline has a beginning, middle, and end—you know where you’re going.
Make a cheat sheet for yourself by making a thorough inventory of your characters. Outline their appearance and traits. This simplifies the writing process and helps you overcome writer’s block.
Walk, Take a Hike, Move!
Have you been sitting at your desk for several hours and staring at a blank wall? Take a break and psychologically “reset” before starting a fresh writing session.
Showering, going for a walk, and cooking a healthy meal are all things that most people would say are easier than writing a novel.
Moving your body could help you daydream and discover creative connections that you missed while sitting. Take a jog, jump, dance a little, and kick the block away.
Determine the Source of Your Writer’s Block
Being stuck in your writing does not mean you’re a “bad writer,” contrary to popular belief. You are not alone. Practically every writer will experience it at some point.
While most writers have this experience, the underlying factors can vary significantly.
So, let’s delve deeper: why are you stuck? Ask your self the following:
- Am I pressured to be successful or better than other writers?
- Do I doubt my abilities, even I have written a lot before?
- When did I last write? Is it that long that I feel I could no longer write again?
- Have I forgotten what my story is about, or am I no longer interested in where it is going?
- Am I just tired and unmotivated to write?
- Are there distractions surrounding me?
Once you determine the problem, you can start listing the solutions. For example, if you are struggling with a deadline, talk to your boss for an extension. If you are tired, rest for a minute. If you are distracted, go to a peaceful place where you can focus.
Build a Creativity Habit
Don’t just write when you “feel creative.” You have to build a solid routine or else you’ll get bored. Writing on a regular basis is one of the most effective strategies to push through.
Find out what days and hours work when you are most productive. If it is in the morning, get up half an hour earlier to get some writing done. If you work well knowing you have finished your errands and chores, write on Sunday afternoons. Just fix a schedule and stick to it.
Consistency is the key here. Be consistent with the days and times you choose. Give it at least three to four weeks to see real results.
Try the Pomodoro Technique
People are most productive in 25-minute blocks, according to Francesco Cirillo, the creator of the Pomodoro technique.
To do this, set a timer on your phone or download an app (in your app store, search for “productivity timer”). Then don’t allow yourself to be disturbed (do not check your email or make coffee, etc.). Do everything it takes to stay focused and persevere. Take a well-earned break after 25 minutes.
Look at Your Story in a Different Perspective
See your story from a different angle to get beyond a stumbling block. “How would the villain look if he is half elephant? What if the ending is not happy?”
Changing the point of view of your story (even if just temporarily) is a terrific method to break free from mental restraints and get new insight.
You can also dig deeper into the background of your characters. As a result, your story would move forward. Ask your self where did they come from?
What happened to them in the past that made them act the way they did? Then you can develop their character more, adding actions you want them to pursue. Do not limit your imagination.
Once you start exploring different angles, you will pick up the momentum to finish your story. And do not delay, strike while the iron is hot!
Improve Your Workspace
Every writer has his own space where the magic happens. It could be an office, under the tree, in the kitchen, in the bed, or on the mountain top. However, there are times that your workspace could be changed, giving you distractions.
Some write better when their table is messy. So when someone suddenly cleans it up, your world could shake. If you are mother or sharing a space with someone else, a cluttered workspace could also cause you a writer’s block. Relocation could also affect your creativity.
Consider the temperature and noise as well. Writing will be more difficult if you’re uncomfortable, and practically impossible if you’re distracted. Put on a cozy sweater and turn up classical music or white noise if you can’t stand the silence.
Make a List of Your Favorite Writers and Books
Another way to overcome writer’s block is to go back where you started. Remember why you started writing in the first place. Return to these sources and reignite that spark.
Make a list of your favorite books and authors. What do you like about each. Consider specific writing strategies or literary devices that you could use in your own work, as well as interesting themes.
For example in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, are you interested in social class struggle? Do you want to use the writing techniques of irony? You should not copy your favorite writer’s work but you can incorporate their style to jumpstart your work.
Figure out what you want to see in the novels you read, whatever it is, and apply it to your own work. As the saying goes, you stop writing when you stop reading!
Just let your thoughts flow, just let it go. Don’t bother about spelling, grammar, or whole phrases. A free write is a safe space and an opportunity to write about your topic in a stream of consciousness to get your creative juices flowing. Consider setting aside 3 to 5 minutes to write.
STOP when the time is up. Nothing further should be written. Then return to the previous page. Read it slowly and jot down any ideas that came up throughout the session that are relevant to the formal writing you’re working on.
Take a pause if the freewriting is too unfocused to use. Try again later, but this time keep your attention on the issue you’re writing about.
Listen to Music
Another way to overcome writer’s block is to listen to music. Music may aid writing in a variety of ways: it can alleviate tension and anxiety, improve mood, and stimulate imagination when working on a creative project.
The style of music, on the other hand, has an effect on the effectiveness of the study session; songs with lyrics make us less successful while reading or writing.
However, if music distracts you, Gregory Ciotti of Help Scout recommends utilizing an ambient noise application like Rainy Mood to help you concentrate. According to recent studies, listening to background noise, particularly pop music, could delay your work.
Try the Cube Method
Cubing is a pre-writing practice that involves writing exercises. Cubing allows a writer to examine numerous elements of a topic by challenging them to analyze and rethink it.
In this, you will write about your topic in six different way (hence the term cube method). Here is how you are going to do it:
Side 1: Explain. What is your main point?
Side 2: Compare and contrast. What do your subject and other subjects have in common? What distinctions do you see?
Side 3: Associate. What comes to mind when you think of this topic? Make use of your senses.
Side 4: Analyze. What does your topic consist of? How does it function/work? What does it resemble?
Side 5: Put it to use. What is the application of what you’re writing about? In what ways does it benefit or harm others?
Side 6: Make a case for or against it. Defend why this subject is worth writing about. Now write about why it isn’t worth writing about on the other side.
Read Your Work Aloud
Another method to overcome writer’s block is to read your work out loud. This is also a great editing tool. If reading aloud to yourself isn’t helping you figure out what to do next, enlist the support of a buddy.
Reading your own work can aid in the development of your writing voice in a variety of ways. Reading aloud to an audience allows them to connect with the author.
Take Advantage of Writing Tools Online
Fast ways to overcome writer’s block are just one click away. There are plenty of writing tools out there to develop your character, thicken your plot or simply come up with something to write about:
- Jasper – Jasper is an AI writing tool that turns your prose into a completely personalized and one-of-a-kind work of art.
- Grammarly – Grammarly is a typing aid that checks for problems in spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and delivery.
- INK Editor – INK Editor is a combination of AI co-writing and an SEO assistance.
- Frase – Frase AI speeds up the process of researching, writing, and optimizing high-quality SEO content.
Writing is not easy, whether it is literature, research, or a blog. When you are in the zone, nothing can stop you from writing whatever is in your brain.
However, it is not always the case. Time would come that nothing comes out no matter how hard you try. It is natural for anyone to get tired, to be distracted, and encounter a writer’s block.
It can be caused by many reasons, such as lack of inspiration, anxiety, or fear of the blank page. Writer’s block can also be brought on by external factors such as distractions and stress on other parts of one’s life.
There is no magic potion, shortcut or secret formula to overcome writer’s block. But with these 13 solutions, you can be victorious over any hindrance in your writing.