Writer’s block: 5 Nifty Ways to Beat it

A drawing on a wall

There are few situations more frustrating for a writer than not knowing what to type next. If you can’t seem to find the right words, then these quick tips may be the answer you’re looking for.

Plan, plan, plan

Are you struggling to write because you’re not sure where to go first? Draft a short plan of your work. It doesn’t have to be detailed. It could simply be a beginning, a middle and an end, or a list of subjects to cover.

Then, if the start is getting you down, try writing another section instead.You can use your plan to keep your structure together, and go back to the hardest parts later.

Relax

If a piece of work is getting frustrating and you can’t think of what to write next, then a clear head may help. The brain is a wonderful machine, but being relaxed and happy helps it to come up with the best ideas.

Step outside for a walk, listen to some of your favourite music or have chat to a friend.

Let go

Writing is a very personal process, so it’s easy to put yourself under too much pressure. If you’re expecting your work to be perfect straight away, then don’t be surprised if you get writer’s block from time to time.

One of the best ways to take the pressure off the first draft is to develop a good editing technique.

Get into a routine

When someone told me that setting a time to write helps, I didn’t believe them. Then I started scribbling during lunch breaks, and after a couple of weeks I realised that – for the first time – writing my book had become easy.

Getting into the habit of writing can make you more productive, you just need to make it part of your routine.

  • Try setting a day or a time when you write, even if it’s just for an hour
  • Put your phone on silent and turn your Internet connection off
  • Avoid multitasking

Try a writing exercise

If you were about to run a marathon, the first thing you’d do would be warm up your muscles. So why not try the same thing with your writing?

Set a timer for 2, 5 or 10 minutes and try one of the following:

  • Look around the room and pick an object at random. Now write about a character who could own it
  • Think of your favourite place and write a description of it
  • Describe your earliest memory
  • Grab an atlas or an A-Z and point to a place at random. If that word was in a dictionary, what would it mean?

Summary

Next time writer’s block threatens to derail your project, try having a go at:

  • Planning
  • Relaxing
  • Taking the pressure off
  • Getting into a routine
  • Doing a writing exercise

Play about with different techniques and find out which work best for you.

Like my blog? You can follow me on Twitter at @jrcopywriting

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