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The Greatest Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block

The Greatest Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block

Whether you’re a student or an author, you’ve probably experienced writer’s block at some point. Writing when you feel uninspired or exhausted is the absolute worst. I know the feeling all too well; writer’s block strikes me on a weekly basis. I’m here to reassure you, writer’s block is not permanent. Here are eight easy ways you can stave off writer’s block, even when it seems like it’ll never leave:

 

1. Seek Inspiration

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What motivates you to write in the first place? Identify this before you start writing. Maybe you find inspiration in a certain song or a book. If it’s music that helps your writing, cultivate a playlist of inspiring songs and play it before you get to work. Author and social media figure Dakota Warren has a Spotify playlist (“Write Something Magic”) that encourages me to start writing. Even if your “inspiration” isn’t necessarily writing—say, if it’s a painting or photo—it can still generate new, exciting ideas. 

I highly recommend Pinterest for writing inspiration. Whenever I’m writing something creative, I’ll make a Pinterest board that matches the piece’s aesthetic. This method will help you visualize your characters, setting…everything! It’ll also give you an excuse to browse Pinterest for hours and hours, which is my favorite past time. 

2. Carve Out Time To Write

If you find yourself lacking the energy to write, make it a routine. You’ll fall into writing more easily if you have a specific time for it. Though inspiration can strike you spontaneously throughout the day, you should try to get as much work done as you can in this period of time. I prefer writing in the morning. Usually, I’ll start writing the second I wake up until I’m done with breakfast. This is a solid two hours of my day that I dedicate to writing. Naturally, I might miss some days or feel more motivated at another time. My routine isn’t set in stone, but it does add some much-needed structure to my writing process. Try to eliminate any distractions in your chosen time.

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3. Free Write

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The best way to write your essay or your book is to write something completely different. I realize how this can be confusing. But if you really want to write proactively, then you should expand on what you’re writing about. Let’s say that you want to write a novel. To keep your mind sharp and explore your writing voice, try journaling. Prompts are other great ways to sharpen your writing. I recommend downloading the Daily Prompt app, which gives you a new writing prompt every day. Instagram also has accounts dedicated to sharing prompts. 

4. Leave Your Room

Good writing comes from the experiences you have. It’s hard to experience anything exciting when you’re sitting at your desk, staring at your laptop, and searching your brain for things to write. First step: go outside. This tip has become sort of a cliché, but it’s true. Inspiration is everywhere, if you’re willing to look for it. Focus on the images around you: the color of the grass, the sound of birds singing, the smell of pool chlorine and car diesel…anything. Even the most ordinary sights and sounds of your neighborhood can generate fantastic ideas. 

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5. Organize Your Space

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I can never work with a messy desk. Some people thrive in chaos, but I just can’t do it. If your work habits are anything like mine, then you should clean your space. It’s as simple as that. You’re not only clearing junk off your desk, but in turn, you’re clearing all the clutter out of your brain. Now that you’re more clear-minded and have less distractions in front of you, you’re ready to write. If there’s too much trash to tackle, change your environment. Move your writing to a coffee shop or a library. 

6. Engage All Your Senses

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If you’re lacking inspiration or are struggling to write powerful descriptions, engage all your senses. And what does that mean, exactly? It can be as simple as lighting a scented candle, throwing on a blanket, playing music, and treating yourself to a warm (preferably caffeinated) drink. Like I touched on before, when all of your senses are activated, you’ll write more descriptively. For some reason, I also feel like I’m more focused when my senses are stimulated. Maybe it’s the caffeine.  

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7. Keep It Simple

I forgot where I learned this advice—either Dakota Warren or the Blank Page to Book podcast—but I’m so grateful for it. Everyone gets word vomit when they have writer’s block. Maybe you have a jumble of run-on sentences, or maybe you’ve been writing the same words again and again and again, in hopes that you’ll come up with a new thought. If either of these sound like you, then remember to simplify your writing. As a matter of fact, write as simply as you can. I’m not suggesting you write like a caveman (“Me do essay”), but shoot for accessibility. First write as if a third grader will read it. Once you get some basic sentences there, you’ll start to think of ways to enhance them. 

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8. Keep Lists

You know when you’re in the shower and have a genius idea, but you forget it in minutes? Instead of discarding all your shower thoughts, write them down. I keep a list in my Google Docs of random thoughts I have, and when I’m writing something creative, I’ll return to it. Surprisingly, it’s been very helpful. Even the most random ideas can lead to an amazing story. In addition to keeping lists of random thoughts, I like to jot down words I like. Sometimes I sound pretentious when I use them in my writing, but other times, they enhance my sentences.

 

Writing doesn’t have to feel like a chore. If you follow these tips, you might actually enjoy it. That is, until the next time you’re hit with writer’s block.

Know a writer? Share this article with them for some advice!

Feature image source: https://pin.it/7r8IEx9

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