Tips and tricks: 5 tips to get over writers block

What does writers block feel like to you? I feel it coming on like a cold. Usually I’ll have been typing for ages and good words are flowing from my finger tips, but then I start to slow. It’s as if finding the word that should follow becomes harder and harder. Characters start misbehaving, doing things that don’t suit them. And then CRASH! A fully formed writers block, constructed from the stuff Wolverine’s claws are made from, rears up and I’m stumped. That seemingly endless well of ideas suddenly, unexpectedly, has run dry!

Below are some tips I use to overcome these inevitable hurdles.

“Go for a walk”

Going for a walk may seem like a waste of time, especially if you have a deadline pressing, but there is a lot to be said for stepping away from your writing implements and going out into the world. The reason being that you can actually observe life going on. In our modern society things whip about at a feverish pace.

To take time out, and to watch people go about their lives, is to go to the well of inspiration. Watch the way a woman argues with her four year old in the supermarket, the way drunk boys shout and rough house as they bowl down the street. All these observations can help unblock barriers. Maybe you hear the way someone is talking on the phone, or you see a small moment of wonder like a baby bird being fed by its mother. It could be anything, but when you’re stuck, anything is better than nothing.

“Eliminate Distractions”

As I write this in my internet browser, I have nothing but a painting of some mountains that I bought recently in front of me. Next to me a record player is quietly, thinly playing Miles Davis Sketches of Spain while I look at an ever lengthening to do list. I’ve left my phone in the other room, as its blinking notification light would distract me.

Distractions, and their step brother, procrastination, can often be a massive pain. I like to get myself into a mindset which is very definite. I challenge myself to deliver a certain amount of words, or a chapter, or maybe even just a lovely sentence. But I then prep my space, I remove things that I know would distract me.

“Read a book!”

This is my ‘go to’ response whenever writer’s block strikes. I calmly step away from the desk, and find something that could inspire me. If I am writing a story set in a genre, I’ll read the best of that genre that I can find. If I am writing something ‘literary’ (to be honest I think people just write books, but some people love to classify stuff) I’ll seek out some great literature.

If I just feel I need to get my brain out of the rut it has found itself, a beautiful turn of phrase in something I’m reading often helps.

“Energize yourself!”

Writer’s block often strikes when I’ve been sat on my big old keister for far too long. Much like going out into the world and observing it, I find a run or some sort of energizing activity gets the blood pumping around the body which seems to help. I’m sure there is science to back it up too, but I’ve definitely found that the more exercise I do, the more ideas I seem to generate.

“Call an old friend”

As I’ve gotten older, my circle of friends has shrunk. Sure we have Facebook pals, communication has never been easier, and yet we seem to talk less and less. I’ve found if I’m struggling, especially with dialogue, one of the things that always helps is calling a friend whom I haven’t talked to in ages. Not just because invariably it is a funny, and uplifting experience, but it means I’m sharing the stories of my life and vice versa.

I imagine it like the guano that birds and bats deposit on islands in the ocean. Within the guano reside seeds for life, and these touch points with lost friends are the same. (Apologies for likening calling an old friend to birds pooping on an island.)

How do you get over writer’s block? Any tips greatly appreciated! 😉

1 reply
  1. AbigailRFowler says:

    Great tips! thanks author for providing such very informative post that could benefit readers across the globe 🙂 As a content writer for https://writingpaper.org/ , starting is ultimately the hardest part, but it becomes much easier once you’re actually in a flow. Unfortunately, this condition does not have a universal cure. Instead, the cure is within you. within us. It’s inside every individual that suffers from it. What I usually did to get over this writers block is to listen to music (preferably iconic songs of 90’s 🙂 it makes me feel good), i go for a walk with my dog, call a friend and spends time to someone that could makes me feel good, and then read some books, inspiring quotes or articles over the internet to get me started.

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