You’ve sat in front of the white screen and the flashing cursor for hours, days, months and nothing is coming out.
You have a post, article, sales copy, book that has to be written. Your mind is buzzing, but nothing flows from the fingers to the screen.
We’ve all felt it, encountered it, bitched about it and dealt with it before.
Writer’s block sucks.
Here’s by best 6 tips for beating writer’s block:
1. STOP the negative talk
You know you are struggling. I’m betting the three people closest to you know it as well. Before you know it, three more people will know, and then three, six, nine more.
STOP right now. The more you put the negative out there, the longer you dwell on it, the more stuck you will become. Stop the hole from getting bigger.
Take my momma’s advice. If you can’t say anything good, shut the hell up!
2. Take a walk
If you have a dog (or a cat, but that’s a bit weird), take it with you. Get out of “writing mode” for a bit. A change of scenery, pace, thought pattern can go a long way for driving out the demon.
3. Write old school
Turn off the internet and pull up a word processor like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. The availablity of too many shiny buttons placed within inches of your reach can be a determent to writing.
Want to go down and dirty old school, pull out pen and paper.
I started yoga practice about 6 months ago. The simple act of pushing away from the desk, closing the door, sitting still and thinking about one thing – my breath – has led me out of many a writer’s block.
When you are fighting writer’s block I’m willing to bet your mind does what mine does – it goes into over productivity. It searches and searches and searches again for the perfect title or opening sentence or closing thought. It screams along at warp speed looking for that one word or phrases that will get me writing. It feels like a 4 year old in the clutches of an ADD attack – fast moving, scattered, unfocused.
Breathe. Relax yourself. Breathe. It’s not easy at first, but keep at it. Breathe.
5. Take a shower and get cleaned up
How many of us that write from home do this: roll out of bed, put hair up in pony tail (ladies), throw on a baseball cap(men), grab a cup of coffee (I’ve been know to grab leftovers from yesterday), maybe a pop tart, sit down at the computer and start writing?
Break the habit.
Take a shower. Shave. Brush those choppers. Put on a pair of jeans and your coolest tee shirt. Hell – comb your hair!
Sometimes a simple breaking of the normal can go a long way towards breaking out of the block.
6. Blast some tunes
Do you write to music? Try it. Music does something inside us that makes those creative juices flow.
Can’t concentrate with music playing? Fine. No biggie. Take 10 minutes before you get started and do this:
Play 5 minutes of your favorite stuff – hard rock, metal, rap, country, jazz, blues, alternative, opera, anything suggested from my buddy Joey Strawn.
Then rack up 5 minutes of stuff that you wouldn’t normally play. Choose from the list above.
The interplay between the satisfaction and discord of this little technique can be the very thing that jogs your mind right out of all blocks.
This is the perfect type of post to add your tricks and techniques. What things can you add? What works for you?
Writer’s block is a B%*%ch – the more ammo we add here in the comments – the better for the community!
image: Ed Yourdon