Breaking down the writer’s block
DISCLAIMER: This article isn’t about overcoming writer’s block, but about skipping it altogether and journeying to a promised land full of inspiration and words.
I think it should be safe to assume that your brain is refusing to supply you with words if you’ve ended up here.
Well before I lose your wandering mind, let me just assure you that we can certainly help you deal with every writer’s worst nightmare; You-Know-What. After I got You-Know-What one day, I was forced to comb my way through the World Wide Web in search for inspiration (but mostly ending up online shopping!).
Either way, I’ve managed to compile a list full of foolproof and some less than orthodox ideas for those who dare to try! If you follow these methods ‒ you should not only be able to overcome but also completely avoid it all together! Don’t miss out the most important thing to remember while writing a document – mentioned right at the end!
1) Go offline
Welcome the Amish life! Put away all those gadgets and turn off the Wifi even (don’t beat me)! Now try and complete your regular activities without the aid of technology ‒ it’s bound to land in at least one quirky and unusual situation. That should leave you stimulated enough to write about it, so go ahead and view a world without filters!
2) Set time limits, and don’t violate them.
It’s hard, it’s boring and it’s annoying. There, we said it. But that being said ‒ it’s also one of the most effective and fail-safe ways of conditioning your mind and avoid writer’s blocks all together! In order to build discipline, set aside 30 minutes every day for writing. It’s not that simple though; there are some terms and conditions to play by.
(a) You can write about anything.
(b) If you feel blocked, you don’t have to write; but you absolutely cannot do anything else during those 30 minutes.
3) Stem the flow
You know that moment when the words flow effortlessly and you need your hands to move faster to get all of them on the page fast enough? Don’t get the entire thought out. Put 75% of it down, and make an abstract little note of the rest to refer the next day.
Odds are it’ll get you excited to write again and maintain the same flow day after day.
4) Never stop to edit
Can’t say this enough times. While writing, don’t stop to edit your work or even to casually read it with an objective eye; save that for later. First drafts are always bad, and elementary checks can be conducted once all the words are there for you to see. When you stop to edit thoughts or go back to check your work, you get distracted and break your chain of thought. Don’t do it. Your document isn’t going anywhere I assure you, and if you work uninterrupted you end up with more time to edit as well!
5) Don’t plan your writing ‒
‒ down to the last T, allow yourself to be surprised. Part of the creative charm lies in allowing it to charm you. If you find that your writing deviates from the pre-established plot, let it. Gamble on yourself and see what happens. You can always scrap it if it doesn’t work!
6) Read, read, repeat.
It’s basically protein for your brain and packs in a punch of vocabulary enhancement to nourish your brain to boot. Does this even need any explanation?
7) Write in different places
You feel blocked when you find no inspiration, and your bedroom or desk at work can only be so inspiring. Try taking your work outside on a coffee date, or simply for an hour in the park. These places let you revel in an intimate little bubble whilst letting you observe and learn from your surroundings.
If all of this fails and you still find yourself in a fix, the only foolproof solution to overcome writer’s block is by writing. Nothing else, not even reading articles about it (kind of digging my grave here but okay) will solve the problem better.
What’s the most important thing to remember though? Remember to proofread after you’re done, of course!
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