Jul 8, 2018

How to Beat Writer's Block

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. Literally before I could write in a straight line or sign my own name in cursive, I was writing far-fetched fantasies on printer paper that I stapled together into "books."

Funny Writer Memes

If you're a writer for a long time, no matter how creative you are and how much you love writing, you will eventually run into writer's block. It can be incredibly frustrating, both for hobby and professional writers, and for professional writers there's the added stress of fretting about whether you'll beat the block before your pages are due.

Whether it's your first block or your hundredth, hopefully my ways of handling writer's block will be helpful to you!

How to Get Creatively Unblocked

1. Step back.

Sometimes the answer to a writer's block is just to give in and take a break. If you're on a tight deadline, you may not have this option, but if you do have more time and/or you've been working really steadily, sometimes a little break to unwind and do something else can be just the right answer! 

2. Write garbage.

We can't write brilliant, well-crafted work all the time. I'm not saying you should be satisfied with garbage as your finished work, but you should give yourself permission to write garbage when you're blocked. Some of it may make it into the final work, after heavy editing, or it might just help you work through your block, so you can come back and write something better.

Funny Disney Memes

Sometimes you just have to let yourself write things that don't make sense. But go back and edit before you publish! I'm looking at you, Disney.*

3. Switch type.

Are you blocked working on the written body of a project? Sometimes trying to figure out what I'm trying to say, outline style, first can help me. It allows me to be productive and work toward my ultimate goal of completing the work. It's also often easier to flesh out the rest of the work once I have the outline in place.

Alternately, if you're working on your outline and you're feeling blocked, you can switch over to working on fleshing out the body of one of the sections until inspiration returns for  how you'd like to flesh out the rest of the piece. Starting writing can help you figure out what it is that you're trying to say and then, from there, it's easier to create a structure for how you'll say it!

Usually the above, plus music, dancing, long walks, slow runs, acai or poke bowls with friends, sleep, showers, and/or outfit changes break the block for me!

How do you beat writer's block?

* I love Disney, but guys... some things just don't make narrative sense.

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