Oh, that dreaded writer’s block. Call it what you will – hitting a wall, drawing a blank – but the bottom line is that it can result in hours, even days, of unproductive frustration. You’re not alone. Even the most tenured writers suffer from uncontrollable bouts of writer’s block on occasion. In this job, it’s par for the course.
Here’s the good news. There are plenty of ways to overcome this unfortunate affliction and get on with your writing. As with anything in life, it’s the tough times that make you stronger. Every time writer’s block hits, approach it as an opportunity to expand your mind and unlock hidden creativity.
Writer’s block is typically caused by three key factors: lack of information, pressure for perfectionism and creeping self-doubt. All are formidable challenges. Every writer has a different way of addressing these issues; we’ve listed some of the most common tricks of the trade below. Keep this article handy! Sometimes writer’s block can sneak up when you least expect it. Your ability to push through this obstacle can make or break your success.
Step away from the computer. Get up. Go for a walk. Do some pushups. Anything to refresh your mind and help you return to your work with a clear head and renewed sense of perspective.
Revisit your destination. No matter where you are in your writing journey, the only way to know what direction to take next is to understand where you want to finish. Excuse the overused metaphor…but there are limitless paths to take on your way from A to Z. Don’t be afraid to explore many different options in your imaginative landscape before blazing a trail to the end.
Reread what you’ve written. If block hits once you’ve already started a project, turn back a few pages and remind yourself where you were going in the first place. While you’re reviewing, do some fine-tuning and regain confidence that you’re headed in the right direction.
Overcome the intimidation factor. Remind yourself that the words on the page are never set in stone until they hit the printing press or the theater. Take solace in that handy delete button – or your pencil’s eraser – and write whatever comes to mind. Don’t over think it. Quite often, your instinct is spot on. You can always go back and revise later.
Scout for inspiration. Go to the library or the mall and take in your surroundings. Hang out at the park and people watch for a few hours. You’d be surprised at how observation can fuel character development.
Educate yourself. Sometimes our imaginations run dry without a constant stream of information. Surf some sites that are relative to your setting. Dive into different cultures. Identify bloggers who may be similar in age and lifestyle to your characters. You never know what you may find!