Writer's block is the bane of all who seek to put pen to paper. Whether it's your ideas, motivation or just your brain causing it, here are a few tricks to breaking that block.
You're staring at your page and you just can't seem to get the words out. You have ideas, but they're stuck at the customs checkpoint between your brain and your fingers. We've featured a few of these before, but these are some of the best strategies to really get yourself through the worst of it:
- Leave things when you're doing well: Force yourself to hold on to the parts you're excited to write, and stop mid-sentence if you have to. You'll always be ready to come back and write more.
- Just write anything to get the words flowing: John Brandon at Inc breaks his writer's block just by starting to write anything. This tip is the easiest to do. You can write something weird, funny, stupid or the most mundane thing in the world.
- Write about how it feels not to be able to write: Getting those first few words down is the toughest part, but now there's no excuse because you always have something you can write about. It won't be good, but it doesn't need to be.
- Keep an exciting scene or idea on hand: Jaime Todd Rubin at 99U recommends pulling out an emergency scene that you're particularly eager to write. Whipping out an emergency scene can do three things for you: ensure that you make some sort of progress that day, reinvigorate your excitement for what you're writing again, and gives you time to see why you running in to writer's block to begin with.
- Maintain a writing schedule: When have a set time to write, your brain will get better at being ready to scribble coherent thoughts over time. All you have to do is show up.
- Get verbal: Author Dayo Olopade suggests thinking aloud to get the creative juices flowing. Use a voice recorder and try and explain what you're trying to say out loud.
No matter what you're writing, it's a creative endeavour. We often get stumped when it comes to creativity because we're afraid that we aren't good enough or that our ideas are bad. Embrace your bad ideas and get the words flowing. Eventually, you'll have a fine-tuned, well-designed piece of work, but you have to spill the words onto the canvas first.