Oh, writer’s block! We’ve all been there, right? You’re staring at that blank page, and it’s like your brain suddenly goes on vacation. Even the best of us face this creative nemesis, whether we’re dealing with self-doubt, just plain tired, or feeling the pressure to be amazing. But hey, don’t fret! Creativity’s a wild ride, with ups and downs. And guess what? There are ways to kick that writer’s block to the curb. Try some free-flowing writing sprints, switch up your surroundings, break your work into bite-sized pieces, throw some fun challenges into the mix, or even dabble in other artsy stuff.
One of the biggest challenges of being a creator is to keep the inspiration going. When the faucet of ideas stops we call that writer’s block. Writer’s block isn’t just one thing. It’s anything that stops us from moving forward on whatever we are working on. Writers and artists/creators all get bouts of a lack of inspiration or motivation. So how do you get rid of writer’s block? How do you keep motivated and inspired?
Here are 8 Ways to battle writer’s block and stay motivated
1. UNPLUG – FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
The goal of most websites and blogs is to have you consume their content. But honestly, for creatives, the world wide web and social media can easily be your enemy. Try turning on a stopwatch next time you are online and see how much that monopolizes your time. It even takes your time when you are off of it. There is a chance something you read or saw on social media is going to take up some of that valuable real estate between your ears. Social media can be addicting and before you know it your whole day is gone. More and more social media has become a place of a lot of negativity. This can draw you into an emotional pit that drowns out any creativity. You want a clear and fresh brain to be creative. So try unplugging. Or a the very least try to find groups or sites that are specific for groups or encouragement.
2. WALK, EXERCISE OR MOVE
The brain needs oxygen. Getting the blood pumping is a great way to reset and work that cerebral muscle. It also can help combat stress, which may be one of the reasons you have your writer’s block / creative block.
3. MUSE / FRIENDS HELP WITH STAYING MOTIVATED
Artists tend to be extroverts, but human interaction (even in the time of Covid) is important for mental health and creativity. Phone calls, Zoom calls, and chats any way you can have interactions can help. Sometimes certain friends are great to bounce ideas off. Now be careful not to turn this into a time-waster. 5 hours of posting on social media won’t really help you create and write.
4. CLUTTER-FREE ENVIRONMENTS HELP CREATIVITY
If you are looking at fast-food wrappers, plates, unfolded clothes, or anything else then your mind is probably hopping around with no focus. Clear the visual slate of your environment. Find a corner free of clutter or go outside or clean. Do what you need to do to not be distracted by your environment.
5. MAKE A CREATIVE MIXTAPE
Music motivates us. It speaks to our hearts, our minds, and our creativity. Take advantage of that. You know what moves you. Try one of the many music sites and create a music playlist. Make various ones for various tasks. Sometimes you may need a mellow song list other you may need some adrenaline. Whatever does it for you, do it.
6. Writing Prompts to get the writing flowing
Writing prompts are a great way to get the writing flowing. There are a lot of sites and social media groups for writing prompts there are also books with writing prompts and activities in them.
7. Find Visual Inspiration
A picture can go a long way to inspiring us. I often create mood boards and image montages of anything I write. It gives me something to look at when I get lost on inspiration., Try a stock image site like Pexels.
8. Self Examine
Often the thing stopping us from writing is internal. Maybe something else is on our minds? Worry and distractions can stop of from being productive. Try making a list of all the things on your mind. A mind divided has a hard time focusing on the creative task. Sometimes taking care of our worries helps clear our brain space to work on our project.
Bonus Tips On Getting Over Writer’s Block
- Freewriting: Set a timer for 15-20 minutes and start writing whatever comes to your mind, without worrying about grammar, punctuation, or coherence. This practice helps to clear mental clutter and allows ideas to flow more freely.
- Change your environment: Sometimes a change in scenery can stimulate creativity. Try working in a different location, like a coffee shop, library, or park, to refresh your senses and spark new ideas.
- Break it down: Divide your writing project into smaller, manageable tasks. Focus on completing one task at a time, which can make the overall project seem less daunting and help build momentum as you progress.
- Set creative constraints: Challenge yourself by setting specific constraints for your writing, such as using a certain narrative structure, theme, or word count. This can help narrow your focus and spark ideas you may not have considered otherwise.
- Engage in creative cross-training: Participate in other artistic activities, such as drawing, painting, or playing music. These pursuits can help activate different parts of your brain and may lead to new insights for your writing project.
All of these can be explored more and it’s by no means an exhaustive list but it may be just enough to get your creative juices going. Writer’s block is a common phenomenon that plagues even the most seasoned writers, manifesting as a persistent inability to produce new work or a loss of creative inspiration. This frustrating experience can be triggered by a variety of factors, including self-doubt, burnout, or excessive pressure to perform. While writer’s block may seem insurmountable, it is essential to remember that creativity often ebbs and flows naturally. By employing various strategies such as freewriting, changing environments, breaking tasks down, setting creative constraints, and engaging in other artistic activities, writers can gradually overcome this obstacle and rekindle their passion for the written word. Acknowledging and addressing writer’s block is a vital part of the creative process, ultimately fostering personal growth and enhancing one’s craft. Conquering writer’s block is all part of the game, and it’ll only make you stronger and more in tune with your inner wordsmith. So go let out your Burst of Imagination and create, write, build, perform and add your magic to the world.
You may be interested in: Dealing with Plot holes.