5 Tips to Get Over Writer’s Block
17 August 2016 • 5 min.
Writing isn’t an easy task, and writing content for a blog is no exception. There are plenty of ways to make the process easier, like brainstorming topics with others and outlining the main ideas ahead of time, but nothing is foolproof.
Sometimes, you just get stuck. So what is the best way to get unstuck? Here are our top 5 strategies to get out of a funk and back into your writing groove!
Take a Break and Work on Something Else
This is the first recourse for many writers who get stuck. Moving to a different project for a while helps clear the mind so that when you return to the problem-article at hand you can look at it with fresh eyes.
Sometimes you need to move to something else for for a few minutes, other times you may need to take an hour or two. Try to spend at least a solid 30 minutes before switching back though. Diverting your attention too often will make you less productive.
Take a Walk
Taking a walk is not just an excuse to be away from your desk. From philosophers like Nietzsche to visionaries like Steve Jobs, there is no shortage of great minds that have sung the praises of how powerful a good walk is on superior thinking.
But if you don’t want to take their word for it, research out of Stanford has indicated that creative thinking is boosted while walking and shortly thereafter. In the experiment, someone sitting still produced only half the number of creative responses when compared to someone who had walked.
Break Out the Pen and Paper
Let’s be real: when was the last time you wrote something by hand? And no, post-it notes don’t count.
In the digital age, the convenience of typing something up has almost entirely supplanted the ancient art of handwriting a document. The advent of spell check and autocorrect makes you question at time how we ever got along so well without our beautiful glowing screens and back-lit keyboards.
While some experts insist it makes no difference whether you type or write, many acclaimed writers such as Stephen King and J.K. Rowling choose to write by hand. One study out of the University of Washington also disagrees, finding that handwriting led subjects to write more and more quickly compared to those who typed.
Talk to Someone
Sometimes the best inspiration comes from a good conversation. When you can’t break through a serious writer’s block, talking to someone about the topic can help you to see things in new light.
Turning a problem around in your head keeps a problem artificially inflated, undefined, and daunting. When you speak to another person about it, there is a double benefit. First, you are forced to define your issue and give it shape by putting it into words for another person. Secondly, two heads are better than one. Talking to someone creates an opportunity to receive feedback that can challenge your perspective on the issue and contribute ideas.
Sleep On It
If it’s possible, take a short nap to clear your mind. When your mind is running in high gear and you are having trouble organizing your thoughts,it can help to just power down for a few minutes and reset.
Likewise, if you are running on coffee and energy drinks and haven’t slept well recently, then you may just need a decent night's sleep. Try practicing good sleep hygiene by avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and back-lit computer screens before bed and leave yourself a solid 9 hours to rest.
If you’ve tried everything and you are still stuck, you may need to question the subject you are writing on. You may have a dead end topic that needs to be reworked or reorganized. Remember, it’s okay to scrap some topic ideas if they aren’t going anywhere!
Let us know in the comments what your tricks are for getting around writer’s block and back on track!