Writer's block can really ruin a day. Not only does writer's block make an assignment take longer (causing you to make less money), but it also leads to undue stress, snacking, and frustration.
According to Eric Brantner, the editor-in-chief of MakeaLivingWriting.com, there are several different types of writer's block to contend with, not just one. "Once you know what type of writer’s block you have, you can then come up with the right plan for overcoming it," says Brantner. "Are you simply burned out? Are you scared of criticism or rejection? Are you uninspired? Are you lacking some key piece of information on the topic you’re writing about?"
Brantner says that once you figure out the type of writer's block you have, you can more easily devise a plan to overcome it.
We reached out to writers around the world to find an answer to the age-old question, "What's the cure for writer's block?" Dozens of writers were more than happy to share their ideas and personal cures.
Take a read through the suggestions. Have you tried any of them? Do they work? Do you have a new idea to share? Let us know in the comments!
When I have writer's block, it helps me to write something completely different than my current project. A short story, a poem, or even a research piece. Changing genre is often enough to get my creative juices flowing again.
The best way I've found to cure writer's block is getting out of the office/house and living life to the fullest. Go get some coffee, hang out with a friend, visit relatives, see a movie, go shopping, take a walk, go on vacation! Sometimes getting out of your head is just what you need to re-center and feel like you are ready to tackle your project again.
I move on to a different writing project. Sometimes the words flow better when I shift my focus. When that fails, I'll do some research or put together an outline for another piece. That way, I'm still productive without having to force words onto a page.
I write a really terrible first draft, knowing at least I'll have something to work with and edit (a lot!) later on.
I do more reporting. I find that if I cannot write something nonfiction, it's usually because I haven't done enough reporting and thinking yet.
When really stuck, I turn to another task, massage ideas around in my head, and come back to the page with a fresh point of view.
To help cure and relieve writer’s block, I put on a lengthy techno mix - one that’s strictly instrumental and classically inspired. The set time limit and story arc of a well-crafted mix can alleviate anxiety and create a trance-inducing level of focus and rhythm when writing.
I change the sheets on my bed and grab some clean towels. Then I shower, shampoo my hair, blot dry and get between those pristine percales (100% cotton only!). Especially lovely during daylight hours. It’s like a baptism. I may or may not fall sleep, but pristine and purified ideation follows.
I write my headings first and add any relevant points from my research under each heading. This way I am filling in the blanks instead of staring at a blank page.
To break through writer's block, make an extra effort to get enough sleep, take a long, hot shower, and stay away from sugary foods that make you dull and sleepy. If this doesn't work, try narrowing your story and dealing with only one part of it at a time.
The best cure for writer's block for me (and my other creative pursuit) is ballet. If I'm ever feeling stuck, I either take an online class or head to the studio. Having a creative, and exercise-based activity, helps me reset and find my words.
One way to handle writer's block is to write the ending first. Then, figure out how to get to that ending. And, when you are doing your writing, if you don't like the ending, change it.
I've noticed that the creative part of my brain works better when I eat. Whenever I feel stuck with an article, I reach for a snack or eat my lunch in front of the computer. This tactic usually helps me get out of a creative dead end.
The best way to relieve writer's block is summed up in three words: take a break! There are a million ways to take a break, but the important thing is getting away from screens and taking a few minutes to rest your mind. Taking a walk is a good idea, or playing with your dog outside is another. If possible, having a hot shower can do wonders!
The best solution I have found for writer's block is to track my time. Currently, I am using a time-tracking app to help me. Anytime I get stuck, I stop tracking time, get a five minutes break, and switch to another task for 25 minutes. It could be reading or researching for other project, or taking a lesson on one of my favorite courses. After taking a break, and focusing on another task, I start writing and don't stop for the next 25 minutes. Overall, I get a lot of my work done this way.
I take a break from writing and talk about my ideas with someone in my close circle. It usually opens the gate to a lot of ideas.
I go to Pinterest and search for something similar to the topic I'm attempting to write about. I do some research and find inspiration from other writers and they help get me excited and started on whatever project I am working on.
Imagine that the world around you is alive: your clothes are alive; your furniture is alive; the wind is alive. If you were a rock, how would you write? If you were a tree, how would you write? I tried it with a countless number of clients with great success.
Outline ahead of time: Do your thinking and organizing part the day before so that you can actually focus on writing when the time comes. Email your mom: Explain what you're working on to your mother in an email—she'll be glad to hear from you, and if you're lucky, you might be able to use some of it in your final submission.
When I have writers block I take a trip to Target. Target always has fun things to look at and it gets the creativity going again. Target is the writers block cure!
Break writer's block by finding inspiration in ordinary things again. A common item, routine moment, or standard practice - what if you could see these as more than ordinary? Creative thought happens here, and it's a sure-fire cure for writer's block.