“4 Tips for How to Beat Writer’s Block”
by Brie Junichi
Struggling with writer’s block? Don’t be discouraged. It’s inevitable and happens to every great writer at some point. There are several possible reasons for writer’s block, and it differs from author to author. But the good news is, there are as many ways to deal with writer’s block as there are causes of it.
Here are 4 of my favorite tips for how to beat writer’s block:
Take care of yourself
In anything that you do, not just in writing, it’s important that you take care of yourself physically and mentally. And while it’s clear enough that being physically ill can block us from writing well, the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Dr. Helen Coons highlights the more subtle role that mental health plays in affecting our performance. We’re more likely to feel fatigued when we don’t take care of ourselves, and Coons recommends putting effort into self-care to have the energy to do what’s important to you.
Besides, neglecting your own needs to stare at a blank page can make things worse. Not prioritizing your health can cause even more stress and fatigue, which could lead to the deterioration of your mental health. Maryville University reveals that the state of your mental health is connected to how well you can learn, which means that if you’re trying to learn or try something new for your novel but are not mentally okay, you’re unlikely to register anything properly.
That said, take care of yourself by doing mindful meditation, getting enough sleep, eating the right food, and drinking plenty of water. These simple things will help nourish your body and mind, which are the vessels your writing flows through.
One way to get around a writer’s block is through an uninterrupted free writing session. When you’re writing your novel, you tend to have that inner voice, that editor in you, that’s always asking questions, making you pause to think and criticize your own work. In free writing, you shut down that inner voice and let yourself write whatever it is that comes to your mind.
To start free writing, take a single word and write it at the top of a page. Then for 10 to 15 minutes, write anything and everything that comes to your mind about your chosen word. Let go of your fear of being a bad or dull writer. Disregard punctuation and grammar and just let yourself write freely. You might jump from one thought to another, and that’s okay. Let yourself be vulnerable, since there’s nothing you will put on the page that you have to share with the rest of the world.
Looking for some productive procrastination? Learn more about the editing process with “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Your Book Like a Pro.”
Break the routine
Sitting and writing at the same desk, in the same room, in the same house or office every single day doesn’t exactly spark creativity. Indeed, Fast Company points out that our routines limit the brain’s ability to build skills and knowledge. As routines can ruin your creative thinking needed for that novel you’re writing, you might want to pack your laptop or notebook and go to a new location to write, like a café, park, or library for a change.
Your new surroundings may breathe new ideas or topics that can help you get through your writer’s block. If you don’t feel like going out, you can simply move to a different room or area in your house or office.
Routines help you become more productive, but they limit the information you take in, and therefore affect your creative thinking. So, when you’re experiencing writer’s block, be open to breaking your routine and experiencing something new and different.
Give your brain a rest
Last but not least, give your brain a rest. Writing can be very exhausting for your brain. And if a brain is overworked, it is not going to function at its best. An overworked brain can lead to hours of wasting time staring at a blank screen or page.
Don’t know how to start? Author Alexander Smith has previously shared with us how he gave his mind a rest from writing by hiking the beautiful forest trails of the Big River Management Area in West Greenwich. His break from writing gave him the boost he needed to keep writing his novel. But giving your mind a rest doesn’t have to involve going to a far area with a magnificent view.
You can simply take a walk at the park or have a chat with a friend — anything that can help distract you from putting pressure on yourself to write something for your novel.
What are your tips for beating writer’s block?
About the Author
Brie Junichi enjoys writing and collecting porcelain dolls. Her idea of a perfect Friday night is in bed with a mug of hot cocoa and a new favorite book.
Thank you for reading “4 Tips for How to Beat Writer’s Block” by Brie Junichi! If you liked what you read, please spend some more time with us at the links below.