As writers, we’ve all been there before: you’ve been sitting at your desk hard at work for what feels like hours, but when you look up at your screen, all you have is a title and a series of unfinished sentences... this is the pain of writer's block!
For those of us who make our living off being able to put words on the page, writer’s block is a seriously frustrating experience. Here are some simple tips for the next time you’re on your fourth cup of coffee, and the words still aren’t flowing.
Beating Writer's Block: Where to begin?
Get Your Blood Moving
Sometimes writer’s block occurs because the ideas just aren’t there yet. Give your brain a chance to catch up by taking a break to move around and circulate your blood. According to this article by Harvard Medical School, regular aerobic exercise has significant cognitive benefits that could aid in the creative process. Go for a walk, take a break to exercise, or even get up to make yourself some tea and clean the kitchen: anything to give yourself an endorphin boost and get some time away from the screen.
Change Your Environment
Even better, change your environment to include other people. Get up and head to your favourite coffee shop, or call a friend and have them meet you there. Sometimes we just need to hear some words of encouragement from people who believe we can do this.
Get Some Inspiration
Stop and read a book, listen to music lyrics, or go through some of your favourite inspirational quotes. Ideas can get stale when they sit around the inside of our heads for too long, so try to give yourself a creativity boost by flooding your sense with fresh new thoughts.
Find a Routine
Writer’s block is a common phenomenon for all writers, but what separates the professionals from the amateurs is the ability to push through it. Many writers preemptively address writer’s block by forming and sticking to a routine. Find what makes you feel inspired, creative, or productive and make it a daily habit. Set yourself up for success by keeping track of what works and what doesn’t.
I know, this one seems like adding insult to injury, but sometimes we are distracted without realizing it. Eliminate distracting music or noises, meditate to clear your mind, or make a bullet-point list to get your ideas organized. If that still doesn’t cut it, consider using nootropics.
Nootropics encompass a huge variety of different compounds, including simple things like vitamins and minerals, as well as herbal extracts and even some synthetic substances. Most specifically, they’re supplements which improve things like brain power, focus, memory, and reaction time. While the most common nootropic is caffeine, there are a variety of “smart drugs” available on the market to enhance cognitive function.
Writer’s block has taken up too much of your time. Your story deserves to be told! Do whatever it takes to break through the block so you can get back to work. We have some great free resources to help you finish that book.