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Ways to Combat Writer's Block

June 04, 2018 (Last Updated August 11, 2020)

48 Hr Books

Writer’s block is the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.  If you are a writer and have never experienced this, you’re in the minority. Writer’s block is an extremely common condition amongst writers and can leave you feeling helpless and generally frustrated.

The first thing that will help combat writer’s block is establishing a routine. It’s proven that people are more productive when they get an early start in the morning. It may take time finding a routine that works for you, but when you find it, writer’s block becomes easier to manage.

If you’ve found a reliable routine that works, but still experience writer’s block, you may want to try altering your approach. For example, simply introducing a morning or mid-day walk helps get your blood flowing, increasing the oxygen to your brain.  Your mind needs tools to perform too.  Walking will help stimulate brain activity, putting you in a better position to focus and be creative.

When you are starting a new project, have a game plan to meet certain goals in your progress.  Have a number of pages or chapters in mind for the day, week, or month, etc. This will help prioritize your schedule for writing and give you accountability for staying on top of your book.  Even if you don’t always meet these benchmarks, you will at least have a clearer idea of where you are at in your progress.

Being distracted is a common trigger of writer’s block. Avoid time-wasting websites or anything else that is taking over your attention.  If you’re writing at home, curate an environment that you can feel comfortable and successful in. Maybe you enjoy going somewhere public for a different kind of atmosphere. Try out multiple spaces and take note of where you have been productive.

Sometimes your mind just needs to reset. There are multiple activities you can do to jumpstart different waves of thinking that can lead to productive writing.

Take a break from writing and read something completely different from your own project. What you consume helps to inspire what you produce. Deviating from your own content and switching to other reading material can help spark new ideas or just allow your brain to escape for a moment.

Buy a book of writing prompts or look some up online and do a new one each day.  This simple activity will help wake up your mind critically and creatively.

Self-awareness is key.  Be aware of how often and what times of day that writer’s block occurs. Take notes on how you are feeling in that moment, what section of the book you are having trouble with, etc. Taking notes like this may help you recognize certain patterns, making it easier to make adjustments in your approach in the long run.

Accepting that writer’s block is something you struggle with is part of being a writer. Don’t let frustration take over to the point where you feel defeated. Wake up and meditate. Go on a walk. Change your environment. Read an article that interests you. Experiment.

 

For more writer’s block tips, email us at sm@48hrbooks.com to subscribe to our newsletter!

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