Every writer has turned on the laptop or grabbed the pen and notebook with every intention of writing, yet as soon as they sit down, the blank page stares them in the face. You have all of these great ideas, but now that you have the time and desire to write, no words come. The dreaded writer’s block!
Don’t panic. All of us have been there. To combat this sudden brain incapacitation, several option have proven to be helpful, at least for me.
1. Go for a walk. Walking not only gets the blood pumping and stimulates brain cells, you can also gain great inspiration from nature. A change in scenery is good for creativity.
2. Listen to music. This is a big one for me. Music tells a story and allows the listener to visualize the moment. Sometimes the right song can signal that perfect idea, scene, or chapter.
3. Read a book, not only from the genre in which you write, but from a variety of authors and genres. A line or phrase you read can often get the creative juices flowing and lead to that great scene you’ve been waiting to write. Reading a book also allows you to see how other creative minds express their ideas.
4. Skip ahead to the next scene. If you’re anything like me, you have a general idea of where you want your plot to go, but it kind of develops itself as you write. When you move forward to another scene, the light bulb turns on and the dynamic connector scene or epic chapter you had in mind suddenly comes to you and the words flow naturally.
5. Work on something different. If you’re really stumped, push that manuscript aside and work on another one for a while. Sometimes a change in pace can help the images become clearer.
6. People watch. College campuses, malls, and parks are great places to observe how people behave. Focussing your attention on people can generate the dialogue you’re trying to get on paper.
7. Take a break. Sitting in front of a computer screen or staring at a notebook for hours on end is mundane and tiresome. Go out and do something you enjoy. Have dinner with your spouse, hang out with your friends, play with your kids, or go shopping. Doing what you enjoy recharges the mind. When you return, you can focus to writing.
These are strategies I use that help me refocus and recharge. I’m interested in hearing what other strategies writers use to overcome writer’s block. Happy writing to you, and good luck.