Block Or Burnout?
Hello, writer! Step into my imaginary office! (I actually don’t have an office, but I have a pretty welcoming dining room table!) Have you ever fallen victim to the disease, ‘Writer’s Block’? Not to be confused with ‘Writer’s Burnout’, writer’s block occurs when you know you have to write something for a deadline or a personal task or goal. You sit down to write that article and nothing. Nothing happens. You’ve run out of inspiration. You question whether you even had any, to begin with.
You stare blankly at your computer screen hoping your fingers just know what to type and will begin pecking at the keys. They don’t move. They’re positioned on the home row of your keyboard and no matter what kind of prompting, begging, and bargaining you try with them, there they sit. It’s almost as if they’re laughing at you now. How dare they? They should be ashamed of themselves! After all, there are 10 of them and only one of you. They should have this writing thing under control. Are they just being lazy? Sadly, no. They’re just being fingers. 🙂
Lucky for you, I’ve done some research and have come up with some tips to help you (and your fingers) overcome writer’s block! Writer’s block happens to the best of writers. It can last for a few minutes or it can last for years! You’re here though, and I’m confident that some of the following tips and ideas might be the nudge you need to manage your creative constipation!
Tips On Overcoming Writer’s Block
While I cannot speak for what may or may not work for you, I can speak of my own personal experience. These tips are not meant to cure your ailment, just provide some ideas to help get those creative ideas moving around again, as they so easily used to come to you! There is hope, my friend! By the time you’re done reading this, I hope you have some ideas to spur you along on your writing journey. Before you continue, grab some paper and a pencil – you never know what you might think of along the way and you’ll want to write all your exciting topics down!
This might seem like something you’ve already tried doing. But! Have you set a timer and given yourself a deadline to write down as many topics as you could? Free write! This is a fun exercise to do each day – and you can keep your little lists and refer back to them for future inspiration! I’d start with somewhere from 5-10 minutes. You may even want to turn on some music. I might caution against this option, as you might start singing and dancing if your ‘jam’ comes on and you’ll lose your writing focus – or will you? It could be a good thing! Give it a go!
Take A Walk
It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 degrees or 100 degrees, raining, snowing, sleeting or hailing. Just dress for the weather and head out the door! As you walk (without electronics), you’re able to focus on your senses. Take in the sights, smells, sounds and how it makes you feel at the moment! Take note of all the things around you. Let yourself just BE. When you can just be at peace with your surroundings, it’s then that your imagination runs wild. If you come back from your walk uninspired, I’ll be shocked!
Change It Up
This refers to mixing and matching, so to speak. It could mean to find a new place to work. Change the setting or scenery. Move to the couch, the table, find a view out a window, etc. Maybe changing the lighting will spark inspiration. I mean, you could literally do anything to change your routine. Mix up your snacks, the beverage you choose to sip. Go crazy! Shoot, just for fun, put on a pair of mismatched socks and see if that warrants any fun change in your thinking! Who cares what anyone else thinks! You’re doing this for YOU!
Read Or Research
This might go without saying, but even lyrics to songs can spark inspiration at times. In the same manner, so can reading! I know. You’re thinking that you hardly have time to write – how will you ever have time to read? I’m not suggesting putting a few days of writing on hold to read a novel, but if you prefer that, it’s your world! Head to the Internet and see what’s trending. Catch up on the news. If you’re really hurting for inspiration, you can even research the word of the day on encyclopedia and dictionary websites! Surely there are things to be discovered in your reading. If you land on a topic of interest, continue researching it! Write down your ideas. Boom! You’ve got something to go on!
Reach Out To Friends
Call your mother or your great uncle on your father’s side. Ask about the weather and the status of the health in the family. Get some small talk going. Just in conversation, you might think of something to write about! Text a cousin or start a conversation with a pet. Move on to your close friends. It’s a great idea to just ask them to help you come up with ideas (I do this all the time; it’s a personal favorite of mine)! Our closest friends know us the best and they can almost always help to inspire! Spend time with people who make you feel happy and positive.
Swing By Social Media
Truth be told, you’re already stalking your friends on social media. They’re doing the same to you. Since you’re already there, share something! Guess what? That’s writing! You might start a thread that gets you some comments to glean inspiration from! The second you ‘publish’ your thought, you’ve already taken a big step to overcoming your writer’s block. I know it sounds simple, but it’s the truth! If you need to get wrapped up for a few minutes on your favorite social platforms, do it! Just make sure you’re participating and not just dilly-dallying around snooping on your peeps! Be social! Conversations may turn into inspirations!
What NOT To Do
I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw in a few tips of things that will absolutely not move you beyond your writer’s block. In fact, if you don’t take steps to remove yourself from your slump, you’ll almost definitely end up with writer’s burnout. Since no one wants to enter that zip code, let’s talk about some things you shouldn’t do.
Don’t keep doing what you’ve been doing. Change is necessary if you desire to change.
Don’t rely on others to do the work for you. (This includes your fingers!)
Don’t feel sorry for yourself and invite others to your pity party.
Don’t continue to procrastinate or bury yourself in distractions.
Don’t stop writing thinking that in a week’s time you’ll have all the answers. One week could turn into one month or one year.
When The Going Gets Tough
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. That’s you, friend! I know you can survive this minor set back! How do I know? You’re here, aren’t you? Hopefully, you’ve written down some ideas to cross this bridge you’ve unexpectedly stumbled upon! Just do a little here; a little there. If you put these tips into practice, my hope is that you’ll be back to writing in no time. Not only will you be writing again, but you’ll have ideas to last you for days and several topics to engage and entertain your readers! It’s a victory for everyone! Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner! I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on how to overcome writer’s block!
Until Next Time!