5 Tips to Avoid Writer's Block
How many times per day/week/month do you find yourself staring blankly at your stark white walls, your mind transported into another realm…
- Of fear,
- Of worry,
- Of anticipation for your upcoming beach holiday, cocktails and the hammock you’ll be hanging from?
Whether writing is your craft or merely a requirement for your role – you will always at some point in your life find yourself staring into white space wishing your brain and hand would talk to each other and start churning out words instead of restful stillness.
If this is a daily or weekly experience for you – then you need to start drawing on a library of tools and strategies you can use to snap you out of #hammocklife dreaming and back to your cold, hard reality. Because writing is a skill that requires practice – and your ability to start is crucial.
So, if you’re ready to switch on word churn at the whiff of a good coffee, and if you’re ready to inject some zest, humour, and #amazeballs into your writing; then it’s time you pulled up your hammock and started taking notes.
My tips for beating writer’s block
1. Establish your writing routine
For me – I’m most creative in mornings. So, when I need to get into creative space I take myself offline, grab my notebook and pen, and head to my favourite coffee shop (but any ol’ café works). There’s just something about the noise!
My next step is to start writing a few headlines about the topic I’m writing. And then, once that beautiful brew hits my lips- I’m in full #wordchurn mode. It’s an unbeatable writing routine.
Tip: If you’re writing a report, you could look at the chapters you’ll be using instead – or, within a specific chapter, what are the key points. Just start writing them down as notes, without judgement, review, or editing.
2. Write a rhyme
Stay with me on this.
Whether you’re writing a fictional novel or strategic whitepaper – you need to make your brain comfortable and enable it to express its ideas on paper or screen. You need to coax your ideas out of hiding; out of their dark place of fear; away from worry and distraction.
There’s no better way to do this, then to rhyme.
Aim for 8 – 10 lines only; short, sharp and snappy to get you in the mood.
Remember that the aim is not a literary award – it’s your free expression of the purest kind.
3. Get a happy song!
I’ll let you in on a secret – and I expect no judgement, friends.
Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas’ and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ ‘Downtown’ are my ultimate happy songs #forreals
Nothing makes me feel happier, more energised, and more inspired than crankin’ these bad boys out at dB 150 to get me in the mood.
4. Fresh air – go for a short (or long) walk
Fresh air and sunshine do wonderful things for our brains! Don’t doubt me – there's research!
I live in Brisbane which has the most perfect, beautiful weather year-round – so get outside, get some Vitamin D, fresh air, and absorb your beautiful green natural surrounds. (Note: If you live in London, it’s time you started singing in the rain my friends ;) )
5. Clear the clutter!
Last but most important.
What’s distracting you?
Everyone should own and use a journal. If something’s distracting you, get it out of your head and onto paper. Close the book. Hide it. Move onto your work.
If you’re still peaking – it’s time you started practising mindful meditation. No – you don’t need incense and you don’t need to say ohmmmmm…. Quiet place + No distractions + Closed eyes + 10 minutes = Calm mind + Energised mind = Lots of word churn. There's science for this too.
These are my favourites but by no means an exhaustive list! What do you do to beat writer’s block?
Download my Writer’s Block Cheat sheet for more inspiration and let me know what you think!