Nothing brings on a cold sweat faster for me than staring at a blank page and cursing down the blinking curser. Writer’s block can be a frustrating and demotivating experience that happens to every writer at one point along this journey of writing a book. However, there are several strategies you can use to overcome it. Here are some strategies I have used over the years.
Take a break
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is step away from your writing for a little while. Take a walk, do some yoga, jump in the shower, or engage in any activity that helps you relax and clear your mind. Often, when you come back to your writing, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle it.
Change your environment
A change of scenery can also be helpful in overcoming writer’s block. If you’ve been writing in the same spot for a while, try moving to a different location or changing the lighting or temperature in the room. Head out to a coffee shop or the library. Small changes like these can help stimulate your creativity. Need to move past a bigger block? Sign-up for the Writer’s Retreat in Kananaskis for the best environment ever.
Sometimes, the problem with writer’s block is that we’re too focused on trying to create something perfect. Freewriting, or writing without worrying about grammar or structure, can help loosen up your writing muscles and get your ideas flowing again. Some of my clients tape cardboard on their screen so they can’t see what they’re writing to silence the inner critic.
Break it down
Sometimes, writer’s block can be caused by feeling overwhelmed by the scope of a project. Break your outline down into smaller, more manageable tasks, and focus on completing one small section at a time. This can help you feel more in control and make progress on your writing. Don’t’ have a rock-solid outline yet? Book an outlining session with me here.
Write out of order
When you have a solid outline you don’t have to write from page one to the end. If you are blocked on one section, moving to a different one can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing. The outline sections provide a starting point for your writing and can help you explore new ideas or perspectives.
Talk it out
If you’re stuck, try talking through your ideas with a writing coach and developmental editor like me. This can help you clarify your thoughts and get feedback on your ideas. It also creates accountability and a container for your writing process. Ask me about my one-on-one coaching packages.
Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes. Writer’s block can also be caused by fear of failure or perfectionism. Remember that making mistakes is a natural part of the writing process and that you can always revise and edit later. Give yourself permission to write poorly in your shitty first draft and focus on getting your ideas down on paper. You can’t edit a blank page.
I hope these solutions help you get past any blocks with your writing. If you have a tip I haven’t covered here, let me know what it is!