We are all writers in some form or another. Some of you will have your own blog or journal, or maybe you’re a student writing essay after essay. Even office workers write emails or send out a few tweets here and there. I’ve been fortunate enough to never really suffer with writer’s block. Not that often, at least. It can be difficult to break out of though.
Here’s a checklist of tricks to try when writer’s block pops up:
1. Bake a cake – I’m not kidding, baking a cake (or any other sweet treat) is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Thinking about your ingredients and what your going to make helps to distract you from the problem at hand and gives you something else to focus on. Once you’ve put the cake in the oven, go back and look and your work with fresh eyes. You’ll probably find what was missing before. Plus you’ll have something tasty to eat once you’ve finished your work! (My intern Nicole has found this method to work time and time again!)
2. Dance it out – Crank up the Beyonce (or your choice of pop diva) and get dancing. The crazier and more outlandish the better. (If you are at work it might be best to wait until you get home for this one.) All this dancing releases endorphins, the hormones that are a natural mood enhancer. So you’ll feel happier and have a better attitude. Now that you’re thinking and feeling more positive the words will flow easier.
3. Eliminate distractions – Get away from the hustle and bustle, shut down your computer and turn off your phone. Now take a long, deep breath. A relaxed mind is more open to be imaginative. Then get out the pen and paper and use this distraction free time to brainstorm some ideas. Write down the key points your trying to make, or even just doodle. Anything to get your mind on the right track again.
4. Take a walk around the block – Being indoors can make us feel stagnant, so get outside and go for a walk. Going for a stroll is also a great opportunity for people watching. Is the old lady sitting on the bench waiting for someone or just passing by? The couple walking silently next to each other – are they fighting? Or just quietly content? The people in cars driving by, where have they got to be? I make up stories about people I see on the street all the time — it’s a fun little habit I picked up as a kid. Other people can be a great source of inspiration for new experiences and new ideas.
5. Sleep on it – If it’s 11:59 and you haven’t written a single word in the last hour, it might be time to go to bed. Don’t worry, you’re not giving up. Your subconscious mind is always problem solving, even when you’re sleeping. You’ll probably find yourself even dreaming about your writing; perhaps it takes you in a whole new direction. Even if you don’t, a new day brings a new perspective on your task.
What are some of your tips for solving writer’s block?