Most writers fear those dreaded two words that we find ourselves plagued with every once in a while: writer’s block. Although a terrible affliction, it has simple yet effective remedies. We have put together a list of ways to guide you out of such a state.
Removing all distractions from your working environment can be a great place to start. This means switching off your phone for a couple of hours, turning off your favourite TV show, or even temporarily logging out of all your social media platforms. This will prevent you from losing interest in the task at hand and keep your focus solely on writing.
For some, music can be an immediate “no” when it comes to concentrating on a task, especially when that task is writing. For others, background music can act as a filter between you and the outside world, keeping you in the zone. Whether you prefer to play some classical music, hip hop, or rock, switching on the radio can be a great way to gain some creative inspiration—it’s definitely worth a try.
Sometimes staring at the same four walls every day can be incredibly mind-numbing, so going outside for walks is extremely helpful. Studies show that getting some fresh air and being among nature can increase the levels of “happy hormones” in our brains and reduce stress, thus providing a better mindset to write in. It also gives you a good excuse to people-watch, which can spark a new character idea or help develop one you’re already working with.
Something as simple as the environment in which we write can greatly impact our productivity. A messy and cluttered workspace will make our already busy minds even more overwhelmed, which is why creating some order can be beneficial. We might also adopt the term “organised chaos”,as the most creative of us also tend to be the most disorganised. Little additions such as plants and posters with motivational quotes can help turn your writing space into a zen zone.
Using writing prompts can be a brilliant technique for kickstarting your creativity. Prompts such as “write about a time when you felt the most free” or “imagine that one day you wake up and realise your whole life has been a lie” can trigger even more ideas. Often, all it takes is a little inspiration to get the writing gears turning, so don’t be ashamed to use these.
And what better way to inspire yourself to write than to read! Reading books written not only by your favourite authors but also new and undiscovered ones can stimulate your own thoughts and ideas. You might also find that you prefer certain writing styles more than others, which you might want to emulate in your work.
This is probably something that you’re already doing, but setting strict yet realistic goals can really get the ball rolling. For example, you might tell yourself to write at least 750 words a day and this way (whether you write more than that or not) at least you’re doing something. This will also lead to a boost in morale whereby you feel more productive. It’s easy to procrastinate with creative writing, especially during periods of writer’s block, as we often feel that no matter how hard we try, we’ve got nothing left to muster. However, once you get over the initial hurdle, the ideas will tumble out.
It is important to celebrate our achievements, no matter how big or small, and this can be done in a variety of ways. You might watch a few episodes of your favourite show after writing a section of your book, or treat yourself to a takeaway at the end of the week once you have achieved your word count goal. Having an incentive can significantly increase your enthusiasm to write, which will in turn improve the quality of writing!
We hope that you have been able to find some inspiration in these strategies. Remember that writer’s block is common, so try not to be too hard on yourself. Happy writing!
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