Writing is an artform. Words form together to create an idea or picture in your mind. It causes your readers to think about what is being presented to them line by line. The great part about reading is that it enables you to use your imagination or think differently about the content a writer has decided to share with you. This is one of the reasons I enjoy writing because its a silent way to get my point and ideas across to someone who may be looking for or needing it.
I didn’t use to like writing though. I dreaded it actually. So, I’m sure your next thought is how did she begin to enjoy it?
Well. With practice. I remember having to sit as a little girl at the table for hours beating my head against the table (no, not literally!) looking for ideas so I could get through whatever writing assignment I had for homework. It wasn’t fun but my mother didn’t let me by when it came to school. She was very strict and good grades were expected of me no matter what.
The strange part was that I LOVED reading. I used to think that writing should be simple because of this. But I realized that wasn’t and shouldn’t be true. They are on two different ends of the spectrum.
Reading something takes 100, 1000 times less work and doesn’t require you to think about it really.
Writing is different. Writer’s block is the single most dreaded thing about the whole process of writing. If you can’t start how are you supposed to finish and get it sent off/ published etc.
Well, I have some tips for you if you have ever experienced this in your life or if you are dealing with it at the present moment. 10 tips to be exact.
1. Meditation – Clear Your Mind and Unblock Those Awesome Ideas You Have Hidden In Your Subconscious.
I LIVE by this one. As a mother of four energetic kids, this is the one daily practice that keeps me sane day in and day out. It also clears my mind, centers me, relaxes my muscles, just really makes my day go more smoothly. I usually do it at night before I go to sleep and wake up the next morning refreshed. This is a good time to do it for me also because I tend to write at night. I suffered from anxiety attacks (that actually sent me to the hospital a few times) just two years ago and I used this to reprogram my thinking and I feel it helped with that immensely. It costs nothing and is beneficial to not only your mind but your body as well. In a world that has so much going on both inside our homes and outside this is a way to cancel out all that extra “noise”. It’s so important to step back and clear our minds of the clutter that gets absorbed by our brains on a daily basis.
Even if you have a lot going on and you are truly busy from the time you wake up til you go to bed at night you can practice mindful meditation instead.
Start doing this and it’s going to make a big impact on your writing. I promise. (It has many health benefits too)
2. Find a NEW hobby. The keyword is NEW.
The reason we have to try new things is not only because it’s fun. Of course, that’s important but you should keep trying new things because it’s scientifically proven to be beneficial for your brain.
It’s called Brain Plasticity.
Imagine being locked in a room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with nothing to do. You would literally go insane! There is no ebb and flow to your days. With no one to talk to or tasks to do your mind would deteriorate. When you give your brain new types of sensory it literally grows. A bigger mind is always going to make a better writer.
A new hobby is also a great way to meet new people and get new ideas as well. By performing new a new skill or task you can actually prevent your brain from premature aging (think Dementia and Alzheimers) Not something you want to have to think about ever.
How does this help you as a writer?
Well, when you improve brain plasticity you can literally begin to expand your mind and come up with fresh new ideas and content that you have been so desperately looking for while staring at your computer screen pulling your hair out trying to figure out your next article or post. So try something new and get over your writer’s block.
Spring Clean – Even If It’s Not Springtime
Photo by Andy Fitzsimon on Unsplash
Sometimes we need to change our surroundings to feel more content and relaxed enough to get our creative juices going. I know a messy workspace irritates me enough to not even want to sit down at much less try and create anything worth reading. I also don’t like it when I have tasks (specifically cleaning tasks) that need to be done and they are just sitting at the back of my mind getting in the way of a clear head.
But who says we should have to wait for Spring Cleaning to really pull out all of our clutter and finally deal with it?
I actually just did this and went through my whole house day by day and worked on one task and let me tell you it feels pretty damn awesome. 🙂 I also can find what I am looking for that much easier now too since it’s not all shoved to the back of my closet.
So, why not get your house clean AND work on uncluttering your head at the same time?
4. Network with Other Writers.
I know I previously mentioned this in another article but its definitely helpful for your writer’s block too. It’s always going to help you to pick the brains of other writers and get your questions answered that you may have. This has helped me a lot. I use my facebook a lot for just this reason. There are so many groups available and most of them will really embrace you and let you know that you’re not alone. I recently just started my own group for new freelance writers there and I am hoping to get it going and provide a way for new writers to learn and help each other along the way. This is a good step to take if you are trying to get some extra help and get back to your writing.
5. Search and Listen, Watch, or Read Inspirational or Motivational Content Online.
I started doing this about six months ago and this truly helps to get you into a better mindset and keep you focused on your tasks. I figured out that sometimes when I am having a hard time getting back into my writing its simply inspiration that I am lacking.
If you’re not inspired or excited to write about a topic it makes it pretty difficult to begin writing anything. As a freelance writer, you should always find new ways to inspire your writing or your going to soon become frustrated with the whole process and it will make it harder to write every time you do it. I like to look up inspirational quotes and follow motivational speakers. Two motivational speakers, I like to listen to are Les Brown and Mel Robbins. You can look up inspirational speakers and find the one that you like best. Some have different ways of speaking and you have to find one your most comfortable listening to.
6. Stop Writing… You DO Just Need a Break Sometimes.
Step away from whatever you’re currently working on when you become overly frustrated. Trying to work under stress doesn’t work for most people. It’s better to just step away or stop at this point than to continue to try to pull ideas out of thin air. If you’re stuck and just cannot think of anything else then… stop. If your short on time then take mini breaks. Stretch, eat a snack, grab a drink, go for a walk and come back to it. Doing this has always helped me.
7. Try Some Brain Training.
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/brain-color-colorful-cube-19677/
Remember earlier when I mentioned Brain Plasticity? Well, this sort of goes hand in hand with that and can be done more quickly than picking up a new hobby. There are online programs/ games that you can sign up for just for this. I like to use Lumosity. Lumosity’s Brain Training helps with keeping your cognitive functions in good shape. It has games for speed, memory, attention, flexibility, and problem-solving. It also has a section for language and math. Lumosity games have actually been put together by scientists and game designers to help you better your cognitive skills and keep your mind “young”.
As a writer, I read quite a bit. Well, a lot actually. The more you read the more you learn and the more you learn the more knowledge you have to give to others. Writing is sharing knowledge through words, words turn into sentences and ideas, then paragraphs, then articles, posts, books ….. you get the general idea. When you’re not putting enough in its hard to squeeze anything out. You have to read to absorb new ideas, think about it, and write to release those ideas again and hope that people connect to what it is you are giving them to read. This doesn’t mean read about what happened on the last show of the Kardashians. That probably isn’t going to help you very much unless you write about celebrities. Focus on learning what it is your interested in and keep doing it. This will help you when you become frustrated trying to write.
9.Leave Your Electronics Alone… At Least For A Little While.
Phones, Ipads, Desktop Computers, Laptops are all great resources for your writing but sometimes your eyes and your head needs a break from it. Especially because of the blue screen. When you are constantly being bombarded with others peoples images, thoughts, feeling, and everything else you take in via electronic devices it’s hard to think for yourself. To really be in your OWN head. Being in tune with yourself in your own mind and thoughts, I feel, benefits you greatly as a writer because you always want your personality to show through your writing. You want your genuine self to be in it. When you have so much “outside noise” going on this is really difficult to accomplish. Read a real book you can hold in your hand. Get off your devices and just stare at nature. Find some time to get back to YOU. Without all the extra distractions you will be able to think more clearly and get back to your writing.
10. Check Your Stress Levels. Make A Change If It’s Too Much.
This is my last and final tip and I feel it may be the most important one. Stress can cause so many issues in the body and the mind. It can cause your physical, mental and emotional health to deteriorate if not treated quickly enough. By treated, I don’t mean popping some pill for your physical or mental symptoms. That only masks the problem. You first need to address the stressors in your life and work to lower them as much as you possibly can. While meditation can help with this as I discussed in my first tip above it’s not going to work as well if your life is hectic and chaotic or you have people around you who often drain you of your own happiness. If you’re putting stress on yourself that’s another problem that won’t help you get past your writer’s block. It actually makes it worse. So before you try anything other steps you should start with this one first.
Hopefully, these tips help you to get past your writer’s block and you can get back to writing again. Let me know in the comments section what you thought of my “10 Ideas to Get Conquer Your Writers Block”.