Yesterday I posted about building your skills as a writer. Today I want to talk about writer’s block. Like I said previously, I am not at all a professional author, but I do enjoy writing. It can be incredibly frustrating when you sit down to write and nothing out. You just stare at the blank screen or piece of paper hoping that inspiration will find you. I have found a few things in the last couple years that help me when I am in a slump and I want to share them with you.
- List ideas in your phone. I sometime find myself inspired at the most mundane moments in my life. This means that an idea could come to me while I am in the car, taking a shower, or at work. I don’t know about you, but my phone goes with me everywhere. When these moment happen, I type a quick statement in my notepad on my phone. I just write a sentence or string of words that will remind me later about my idea. When I am sitting down to write and don’t have any ideas that make me excited, I refer to the list.
- Take a walk. Sometimes it’s best to just get up and walk away for a moment. Take your dog for a walk or go for a jog. While you are out, look around you and truly experience the area. You will be surprised at what can remind you of a memory or inspire you. When your walk is finished, write your ideas on the list mentioned above and get back to writing.
- Accomplish tasks. Is there something that is stressing you out that may be leading to writer’s block? Maybe knowing that there is laundry to be done and dishes to be washed is subconsciously prohibiting your brain to focus on the task at hand. Take a 15 minute break to take care of what is bothering you and then return to writing with a clearer mind.
- Reflect on life. Is there something going on in your life that is overwhelming your thoughts? Is this something that you could write about? Are there things that you recently (or not-so-recently) learned that others could benefit from? Maybe this is a place that you could start to brainstorm from.
- Flow Chart. These are great if you have an idea, but aren’t sure how to construct it into an actual story. Start with the central word or idea and branch out into topics and subtopics within that idea to build the story. You don’t need to write paragraphs at this point, just words or phrases that signify a different piece of the puzzle. When you are done, you will probably have a better understanding of the topic. This can help you decide which avenue(s) you would like to take the writing piece.
- Prompts. You can find online prompts or prompt books that ask questions or have you write about things that you wouldn’t normally think of. Some of them can be silly, but others are quite insightful and constructive. Regardless, it is one way to get your creative juices flowing. I posted on my Instagram “love.always.elizabeth” a few weeks ago about the prompt book I picked up at a local discount shop. It has been a helpful tool when I am not motivated to write or feeling uninspired.
It’s okay to take a deep breath and refocus your attempts. Just like everyone has their own style of writing, everyone has their own process too. Find what works for you and continue expressing yourself.