Unfortunately, writer’s block is an annoying phenomenon that hits every writer at least once (but most likely many more times) in their career. Once it makes its annoying presence known, it can be difficult to get it to evacuate your mind.
Thankfully, there are some exercises you can use to get over your writer’s block so you can conquer your blank page or computer screen. Here are ten tips for you to try the next time you’re stuck on a writing assignment or blog entry.
Stress from all parts of our life can consume us, creating a momentary writer’s block making it next-to-impossible to get the words we want on our screen.
The worst thing you can do when you are suffering from writer’s block is to worry about writing. It can be hard, but take some time to close your eyes, breathe and relax. You can also try stretching, hot tea or meditation, if those are activities that help you relax.
Once you have cleared your head of your worries, you will find it is much easier to get into your task at hand.
2. Turn off the word count
Counting each and every word you get on the page is not going to help you relax. Turn off your word counter in your word processing software and quit counting your paragraphs so you can focus on the message you’re trying to convey instead of the number of words (or lack thereof) that are housed on your screen.
3. Take a break
Sitting at your computer stressing about your lack of word count is nothing but counterproductive. If you are being plagued with a blank screen, it’s time to walk away from the computer for a bit.
Take a walk, watch an episode of your favorite TV show, or eat a snack. Do something that will take your mind away from the computer. Of course, you don’t want to abandon your craft entirely. Be sure to keep a pad of paper and pencil handy. It’s often the moment that we step away from our typical workspace that our mental block melts, so you will want to have utensils handy to capture the words once they start coming.
Drawing or practicing other art forms often helps people relax. So grab some paper and a colored pencil or two and get drawing!
After you doodle for a while, take time to look at the picture you’ve created. It may provide you with inspiration for the piece that you are trying to write. You may even notice that while doodling, you incorporated words or phrases that you can use for your blog.
5. Browse the Web
Every blogger has their go-to blogs and websites they like to read. The next time you’re at a stand-still, take a break to peruse the sites that you regularly visit. In doing so, you may stumble across information that will spark an idea that will get your fingers flying.
6. Thumb through a magazine
If being at the computer is making you stress, then you may want to find inspiration from written content that is housed elsewhere. Pick up a favorite magazine to see what they have been writing about.
Don’t just read the editorials. Be sure to pay attention to the headlines, photographs and ads as well. You never know what is going to give you an idea for your writing!
7. Write something
Yes, we understand that the entire reason you’re using these tips is because you’re having difficulties writing!
We’re not suggesting that you just write your piece. Instead, write a letter to a friend, pen a poem, type a letter to the editor. Whatever it may be, write something that is outside the style and topic matter that is causing your current mental block. The act of writing something else may help ease your mind and your hands so you can get working on the piece that was causing you problems.
8. Research your topic
Perhaps your page is blank because you lack the knowledge that is needed to complete your blog. Take the time to research the topic so you can get the facts and see what others are writing about the matter. Even just a bit of background information could be the key to conquering your blank page.
9. Create an outline
Sometimes we have so many ideas rattling in our head that we have problems getting them organized. While it may seem a bit high school in nature, an outline can help get these ideas on the page.
Take a couple of minutes to jot down the separate points you would like to make. Once they are on page, organize them so they flow and add any additional details that will help you fill out the paragraphs.
10. Talk it out
Sometimes we have problems when we put pen to paper (or, in bloggers’ case, fingers to keyboard). The act of sitting down to write can cause our brains to freeze. But if you try turning the act into a conversation, you may be surprised by the ease that the words can still flow out of your mouth.
Install some transcription software and talk to your computer. Don’t worry about speaking with perfect grammar. Instead, say what is in your heart and you can always go back later to polish up the content.