Staring at a blank page

Staring at a Blank Page?

Whether it’s time to write a blog or the next chapter in your book, nothing is quite as demoralizing as staring at a blank page with a blank mind offering up not one word to write. Here are my favorite go-to tricks to get out of writer’s block.

Go for a walk

Getting away from a screen and moving your body can be just what’s needed to pull you out of the vicious circle of the inner critic hijacking your creative mind. Getting the blood pumping and the oxygen flowing will fuel your brain. Let your mind wander and if an idea comes when you are away from your keyboard, use your voice recorder to take a quick note for when you are back at your keyboard.

Take a shower

Did you know that John Mayer rushed out of the shower to write down the lyrics for his hit son Daughters? The mindlessness of a routine, such as taking a shower, forces our minds to wander because there are no distractions from media vying for our attention. We also tend to be more relaxed in the shower than at our desk, which helps with creativity according to this Mental Floss article.

Work on something different

This is, in fact, what I am doing right now! I have an assignment from my writing coach that requires some deep emotional writing, and I am not in the headspace to explore those feelings at the moment. Instead of staring at a blank page driving myself nuts, I decided to write this blog. Switching up the style of writing helps unlock your creativity like moving from fiction to non-fiction or from a blog to a poem. No writing is ever wasted.

Start in the middle

Nothing feeds the inner critic quite like having self-imposed rules such as, “You need to write from page 1 to page 250.” And then you get stuck and can’t move forward. I often teach my clients to have a strong outline and from there they can write any chapter whenever they want. This plays on the “work on something different” suggestion as well. If you just can’t seem to get chapter two to flow today maybe chapter five will come to you more easily.

Impose a deadline

Let’s face it, most of us remember writing our high school assignment the day before it was due when we had a month to work on it. There is a principle called Parkinson’s law which is the adage that, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” and therefore the shorter the amount of time you impose on yourself the more likely you’ll complete the task. The problem with writing on our own is that there is not due date and no one expecting you to hand something in… so create it! Hire an editor or writing coach ahead of time and have them expecting your project.

If you are looking for a community to help keep you accountable and offer you new ideas about topics your audience would clamor to read, may I suggest you check out the Consistent Content Creators mastermind. We meet once a month; this just might be the solution you need to stay prolific with your writing.

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