Some tested strategies to get the words flowing again.
Whether you consider yourself a writer, happen to write a lot for your respective major, or even just journal in the morning—everyone can experience writer’s block. And it’s pretty damn annoying.
I am a writer. Academically, I spend what feels like half of my time in college writing. Sometimes that means a constant flow of textual composition, ideas, imagination, and so much more. Well, this week that felt like the most impossible thing for me to do. Pulling teeth would’ve been easier. It got very discouraging and at times I just wanted to give up, but I refused. And it wasn’t even for any poetical or substantial reason—I just have deadlines to meet.
Here are a few things that I tried and how they helped me beat my very inconvenient writer’s block.
Reading a book
You may be surprised to hear that getting over writer’s block doesn’t always include writing. I figured I needed a spark of inspiration, to do something that I know I can because I love it. So, I read a book. At first, I felt like I was wasting a couple hours that I probably could’ve spent writing, but reading is never really a waste of time, and it definitely made a difference. It didn’t miraculously cure my inability to construct sentences, but it did make me feel less anxious about the idea of writing and my current lack of output. Reading embedded a certain excitement in me, pushing to get back into writing, which overall brightened a gloomy situation.
Sometimes all I need to get my mind flowing is to get my blood flowing and body moving. The gym is definitely a release for me and experiencing writer’s block can have a lot to do with built-up tension, stress, and lack of motivation—although those aren’t the only reasons. While exercising doesn’t specifically involve any intellectual or cognitive stimulation, it does increase overall circulation in your body and makes you feel good. I crushed my leg day and felt so energetic and uplifted afterwards that I thought, for the first time in days, Maybe I’ll go home and write now.
Write for fun
Okay, I know this is a bit of an ironic suggestion considering the topic of this article, but if you’re someone who loves creative writing—like me—trying to free write might make all the difference in the world. Of course, for me, it did not. I thought that writing without any structure or rigid idea would help me get the juices flowing, but honestly, it just pissed me off even more, because how can I not even come up with a simple five-line poem right now? If you’re going to try this strategy, make sure to go into with no judgement for yourself. Remember, the first thing you try to write after suffering writer’s block will be bad.
Change your environment
I am—like the corny, way overused phrase goes—saving the best for last. This strategy absolutely made a difference. Sometimes the safest and coziest places (like my bedroom) are not the ideal environments to be productive in. Removing yourself once you realize it might be thwarting your progression can work wonders. To focus better, I went to my university’s library, Starbucks, and a random classroom. I found that putting myself in a different place that I may not often be in makes me want to do my work, clearing my head of all the other responsibilities or distractions that can be found in my bedroom or apartment.
To say that these tricks “solved” the issue of my writer’s block forever wouldn’t be true. But that’s okay because creativity just isn’t that simple and, more importantly, it’s not like a tap you can just turn on and off. Some of the things I did helped me deal with how I felt about the problem, allowing me to approach it more open-mindedly and calmly. It’s easy to get frustrated when the words won’t come, so grounding myself helped me be a little less cynical about the whole thing.
Yes, Edije, you will write again. No, this will not last forever.