Writer’s block is the devilish foe of anyone and everyone who is trying to have a career in the written word. It is one of the most frustrating feelings when you’re sat at a computer ready to write and then your mind goes blank. When it hits, you’re left staring at a blank page on a computer screen and a cursor, which you decide is mocking your inability to formulate a sentence. We’ve all been there. The irony is, I have been hit with dreaded waves of writer’s block as I have been writing this piece myself. The trick is to keep writing; never let writer’s block win. I’ve always been a stubborn person and luckily my stubborn nature means that I refuse to be defeated.
There are a number of different things that you can do to try and get those creative juices flowing again. I’ve often found that when you can’t think of an idea for a feature or a blog post, that looking at the work of others can serve as inspiration. This is not to say that I condone plagiarism; the mere thought of copying someone else’s work infuriates me. Simply browse different blog posts, websites and search engines to see whether you can provide readers with a different angle to a relevant topic. News websites are a perfect source of inspiration as you will be updated on the current events of the world and you may stumble upon something that you’re passionate about.
Writing from the heart is often a way to combat writer’s block. When you’re passionate about a concept or a subject the words seem to flow easier. If you’re struggling for material to write about, sit and write a list of all the different things that you’re passionate about. Once you’ve done this, create a spider diagram and research these topics. I have done this on countless occasions and it has usually helped me to beat the block.
Here are a few tips to help you to defeat writer’s block:
1. Take a break- There’s no use in sitting and tearing your hair out because you can’t think of anything to write. Forcing ideas and beating yourself up can be counterproductive, as you’re too busy getting frustrated at yourself to let the ideas flow naturally. Take a break and when you come back to your work the words may come to you a bit easier.
2. Just keep writing- Even if you’re convinced that what you’re writing is complete drivel- persevere. The first draft that you write should never be the last draft. Focus on getting a framework of your ideas written down and then you can come back to them with fresh eyes and a clear head to improve them.
3. Look around- Browsing the web to see what other people are writing can be helpful, but sometimes we neglect to look at the world beyond the World Wide Web. Doing something as simple as going for a walk around the park or at the beach can be incredibly inspiring.
4. Talk to people- Having a conversation with a friend or family member may spark some ideas in your head. Listening to the perspective of another person may a shine a light on something that you hadn’t thought of before.
5. Make a list- I am constantly making lists in my everyday life. These lists can detail anything from the activities that I need to do in a day to what I need to pack for my weekend away. Lists are an incredibly helpful way to put your thoughts to paper and organise the ideas.