Writer’s block. Ugh. We all hate that term because we’ve experienced it so many times. Of course, a deadline is always looming when it hits! Because deadlines don’t change, we all need to find a way to push through and complete the assignment. It doesn’t matter if the deadline’s long-form content for your website or a witty social media post. Either way, you need to deliver. Here are 10 writer-tested tricks to help you conquer writer’s block.
10 Writer-tested Tricks to Conquer Writer’s Block
I’ve experienced writer’s block more times than you can imagine. All of these tips are tried, tested, and approved by me! Usually, one of the following distractions will help me break free of the block. Sometimes, it may take a combination of doing two things, then I get right back to writing. Remember, your goal is to complete your assigned writing project, so don’t let these throw you completely off track!
First, try to “freewrite” your content. This means that you will sit down, uninterrupted, and simply write out everything you can think of about the topic at hand. You are trying to squeeze out some creative juices with this exercise, so don’t sweat the spelling or grammar. Just write!
Take a 5-minute break. Clear your mind by creating a distraction. In fact, forget about your writing project for that 5 minutes. Close your eyes, relax, and just be still for 5 minutes. Don’t fall asleep! in fact, it might be a good idea to set an alarm for yourself so 5 minutes doesn’t turn into 15 minutes of wasted time.
Brew Some Java:
Brew some java to get yourself motivated. This works in two ways. First, the physical act of getting up to make a cup of coffee will distract your mind from writing for a moment. Second. the jolt of caffeine is a mild stimulant and will improve your mental alertness for a little while. This caffeine buzz can help you with a short burst of writing, which is likely enough to get you over the slump.
Take a Walk:
Take a walk to get the blood pumping. The quicker blood flow will help to “wake up” your brain. Even if you’re pressed for time, a short walk is better than sitting in your chair beating yourself up over the mental block! As you walk, be mindful of your surroundings to help clear your mind from the writing task for a few moments.
Call A Friend:
Take a few minutes out to call a friend for a quick chat. Of course, you need to limit the time to 5 to 10 minutes so you don’t get completely sidetracked. I like to call a particular friend whose life is dramatically entertaining because I know she’ll completely transport me away from writing for that quick call.
Like the “Take 5” tip, limit your time. Because you need to finish writing, don’t let yourself get completely sidetracked by your friend (although it’s easy to do!).
Clear All Electronic Distractions:
Electronic distractions are one of my main reasons for writer’s block. I have emails and text messages from clients plus my phone constantly alerting me or ringing,
It’s difficult to commit a good stream of thought to your document when you allow yourself to be interrupted. In fact, I have personally used these distractions as an excuse to skip writing altogether instead of facing my block. Shut off your phone volume, close out your email window, and write without these electronic distractions.
Play music. Choose something that will motivate you without distracting you. Keep it at a low volume so you can “hear yourself think” An upbeat tempo will add some energy to your workspace and increase your drive to write.
Create a Reward:
Create a reward for yourself once you’ve crossed the finish line. In your mind, think of a treat for yourself once you’ve finished. The reward is different for everyone, so think of something just for you. For example, my reward might be a long walk with my dog, a drive with the top down on my Jeep, or a scoop of chocolate ice cream. Personalize this to yourself.
If you’ve been sitting in the same place trying to focus on your article, change locations! Your mind will often shift gears once you move to a new workspace. Take your laptop to a conference room, a break room, or a coffee shop. If you have outdoor space, that often works for me during nice weather. It can be very motivating to feel a breeze and hear birds chirping while you’re writing.
Try a Different Time of Day:
Every writer produces better work at certain times of the day. Some people write volumes during late night hours while others love the solitude of early morning. If you are trying to write at a time when you’re not productive, in general, it can affect your writing.
If you are truly blocked, step away for a little while and schedule yourself time to come back when it’s the time of day when you are more alert and productive. Do not use this as an excuse to ditch the project! Simple get in touch with your internal clock and schedule your writing time during this peak time.
Use These Tips:
Use these tips when you have any writing to do! Don’t let writer’s block conquer you. Set yourself in the mindset that you will finish the writing and you’ll overcome these blocks. If you have any other suggestions on how to conquer writer’s block, please let us know! We’d love to hear your ideas; feel free to share them on Facebook.
Author Bio: Deborah Tayloe is a freelance content writer and operator of Word Innovations. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. The Erie, PA native now resides in North Carolina with her husband and an energetic toy fox terrier.