Writer’s block can strike even the most prolific of us. Whether you’re writing a novel, an email, or a blog post, it can stop you in your tracks. What will you get those creative juices flowing again? I’ll let you into some of my tips and tricks — although some might strike you as a bit odd.
- Go for a walk.
This is my number one tip. Leave your screen and take a walk. Not only is walking ten minutes a day good for you, but research at Stanford University has found it boosts creativity by 60%. Some of the most famous writers who have ever lived love to walk. Charles Dickens is believed to have walked 12 miles each day. And it’s reported William Wordsworth clocked up 175,000 miles in his lifetime.
Fresh air, exercise and a change of scenery always helps me to think more clearly. But inspiration can strike at the strangest places. So, when that killer phrase pops into your head make sure you can have something on you to record it before it vanishes forever. It could be a notebook or your phone.
There have been times on my walk when I’ve had a brainwave. Because I don’t want to forget it, I’ve recorded a voice memo on my phone, despite some funny looks. So, make sure you have a notebook or your phone with you when you have your flash of inspiration.
2. Get some exercise.
What if it’s raining outside? I find a short burst of exercise can provide the same results as going for a walk. YouTube has lots of seven and 10-minute workouts which won’t get you too sweaty. I also enjoy a quick game of Just Dance or boogieing to a track on Spotify — when nobody’s watching of course.
3. Pick up a book.
Any escape from your screen will help cure writer’s block. I like to take 20 minutes away from my screen with my latest book. Watching television is also an escape away from your screen, but reading can make you a better writer. Reading other people’s words can be inspirational and stimulating. Just Publishing Advice has some useful tips on you can use reading to improve writing.
Sometimes I need to be productive even though the words aren’t flowing anymore. I have my screen break but take my notebook and pen with me. Writing on paper instead of on the screen helps me when writer’s block has struck. I can brainstorm sitting on my sofa, and when I return to my screen, I’ll turn those ideas into sentences.
5. Try some writing exercises.
When you have writer’s block the idea that you could just sit down and write might not make much sense. But as I have been writing this post, I’ve discovered there are writing exercises which inspire creativity. I’m looking forward to trying these from Victoria Fraser.
And Copyblogger’s Writer’s Warm Up ideas are also a great way to kick off a productive day, hopefully without writer’s block getting in your way.
Inspiration can strike at the most unusual times. For me it’s often when I’m having a shower, doing the washing up, or when I’m about to fall asleep. These tips have one thing in common — when writer’s block hits, spend some time away from your screen.
What are your tips for curing writer’s block? Let me know by commenting below.
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