Whether you write a column for your church newsletter, engage in story writing or essay writing, or are in the middle of writing a book, you’ve no doubt experienced the pain and anguish of writer’s block. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get past this temporary impasse and let the creative juices flow once more. Here are some methods that have helped writers of many different types get past the writer’s block and get back to work.
Get away from your desk. Sometimes something as simple as getting away from your work area for five minutes will clear away some of the tension and frustration that builds up when you can’t get the words to come forth. Take a walk around the block, sit in a lounge chair on the patio, or even find a comfortable chair and look out a window. After five or ten minutes, many writers find they can go back to the desk and dive right into their work.
Work on something else. If a particular assignment is causing you grief, put it aside for an hour and work on something more fun. Post on your blog, write a thousand words on that novel manuscript you have saved on your hard drive, or even write a quick how-to article. Even doing a little letter that has nothing to do with the writing assignment may do the trick. Finding that the words will flow on some other project will help renew your confidence to tackle that problem assignment once again.
Just keep writing. One time-honored way of overcoming writer’s block is to simply keep on putting words on paper – or as the modern equivalent, typing words onto your electronic document. Don’t worry about grammar, logic, or anything else; whatever comes to mind, put it down. After ten or so minutes of this shotgun writing, take a break. When you come back, there is a good chance you will find some kernels of wisdom in that jumble of words, and can proceed with your project with some fresh inspiration. Many writers find all sorts of writing ideas among those seemingly nonsensical jumble of words.
Tips and Warnings
Remember that what works for one writer may do nothing at all for another writer. When you find a block-breaker that seems to work consistently for you, hang on to that strategy. By all means, try other things too, since it never hurts to have several ways to get past writer’s block. But always keep your tried and true strategy ready to use whenever the need arises.