Whether you are a blogger or a writer, at the end of the day, we all write for fun or for a living. But what to do when you feel like you are running out of ideas to write about? I am here to show you 12 different things you can do to overcome your writer’s block.
1. Discuss your story with your closed family and friends
If you have a small circle of closed family members and friends that you feel comfortable discussing your story with, then leverage their support when you are facing a writer’s block. They may be able to provide you some suggestions on how to proceed with your story. Sometimes, even just having someone listen to your narration or complaints can make your creative juices flow again.
2. Review your diary
If you write on a regular basis and are in constant need of inspiration, I recommend that you keep a diary. My diary is a sacred place for me to write down all my thoughts, observations and encounters throughout the day. When I have trouble finding a story to write about, I resort to my diary. I can usually spot one or two funny anecdotes that are worth writing about while I flip through the pages.
Of course, in order to successfully employ this strategy, you need to be writing in your diary on a regular basis. You may consider waking up earlier and making writing in your diary a daily morning ritual. Diary is also a great place for you to reflect on your day, and write down the little things that make you feel alive.
3. Make a list instead of writing paragraphs
This works for me personally (which is part of the reason why you see a lot of lists on my blog!). Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I am a more structured person, and I find filling in the blanks after having the structure down to be a lot easier when writing a story from top to bottom. Write down all the things you want to happen in you story, in bullet points. After that, expand on each bullet point until you have the paragraphs.
A list gives you structure and can guide on how you want to proceed with your story. Of course, you can always modify the list depending on where you want your story to go!
4. Listen to some music
If you can’t help feeling frustrated staring at a blank piece of paper or the blank screen of your laptop, you may want to try listening to some music. I personally prefer piano music with no lyrics, because I find that it leads me to subconsciously create vivid images in my head. These images can then oftentimes transform into ideas or stories that I want to share on my blog or elsewhere.
Of course, it doesn’t work every time. But at the minimum, listening to some music helps me relax.
5. Read other people’s work to find inspirations
If you lack inspirations, reading other people’s work may be a great way to get the creative neurons in your brain firing again. I love how creative humans are. Even after thousands of illustrious years of creative work, we, as human beings, are still able to collectively create millions of pieces of art on a daily basis. Spend some time on other people’s blogs, YouTube channels, and books. Their originality will for sure inspire you.
6. Give yourself a deadline
Sometimes you have to be a bit harsh on yourself and just give yourself a deadline. By giving yourself a deadline, you effectively give yourself no option but to start and finish writing whatever you have to write about. Although a deadline looming in the future creates some stress, it also creates an adrenalin rush that compels me to move forward. By giving yourself no option, you can no longer procrastinate on your writing project.
Yes, writing, for the most part, should be fun and stress-free. But if you have challenge overcoming your writer’s block, sometimes it pays dividends to give yourself a deadline, and just go ahead with it.
7. Just start writing
Sometimes all you need is to just start writing. Don’t pay too much attention to what exactly you are writing about, as long as you are producing sentences either with your keyboard or with your pen. Try freestyle writing. Look around your room, find an object or any topic that comes across your mind, and write about it for a certain length of time without stopping. You can write about the weather, write about your pet, your best friend, or even your phone. The key is to not stop writing. Once you write like this for a while, you may naturally find that your brain is active again. Writing on the main story you want to write about will then become much easier.
8. Take a walk. Go outside.
But sometimes, no matter how much you do at your desk, you may not find yourself wanting to write or being able to write anything down. Well, it is time for nature to show you her magic. Put down your pen or put away your laptop, put on your favourite pair of shoes, and go outside! Taking a walk not only is something fantastic to do when you are alone at home and feeling bored, it can also be a great source of inspiration when you encounter a writer’s block. You may meet interesting people or see interesting things when you are on your walk. Even if there is only you and the street, you can still pull yourself away from your work for a little while. Giving yourself some blank space can sometimes be enough to rejuvenate your brain.
9. Change your writing environment
You may also consider switching things up a little bit and change your writing environment. If you write at home, you may consider going to a park and write under the shade of a tree. If you normally drink just plain tap water, cut up a few wedges of lemon and transform your glass of plain water into one that is infused with citrus flavours. Get yourself a cup of coffee. The smell of the delicious coffee alone, or even just the process of taking a break and preparing that cup of coffee, may trigger your brain to get into the writing zone.
10. Use pen and paper
I normally write on my laptop out of convenience, but pen and paper still have their place in my heart. The sound of pen gliding on the piece of white paper has a magical effect on me when I have trouble overcoming my writer’s block. I also like to touch physical notebooks and to feel how smooth the pages are. Get yourself a beautiful notebook (it is definitely a small luxury that deserves a place in your life if you are a writer) and a nice pen, and use them whenever you need an extra dose of inspiration.
11. Edit a finished piece of work, or work on non-writing components of your project
I know how it feels when no matter what you do, you still can’t find the motivation or inspiration within you to write. How do you avoid feeling bad about yourself for not producing anything the whole time? Instead of writing a brand new chapter or a new article, why not edit a finished piece of work that has been lying around? You can also use the time to do some fringe work, like finding a nice featured image for your blog posts (I do this quite often), engaging with your audience on social media, or finding a nice font for your to-be-published novel. These work needs to be done anyway, and now is a great time to do them!
12. Do some mindless tasks
Mindless tasks, such as taking a shower or doing monotonous housework, can often be the birth place for aha! moments. Scientists have shown that mind wandering, which often happens when you are engaged in mindless tasks, facilitates creative incubation. It is in these “unproductive” moments that you can suddenly make connections between seemingly unrelated pieces of information and rearrange them and turn them into fireworks.
Next time when you feel frustrated at your writer’s block, don’t be afraid to step back a bit and work on something else. Your brain will surprise you.
Above are some tips and tricks that I use personally to overcome my writer’s block. Which ones have you tried, and what other methods do you find effective? Leave a comment down below if you have anything you’d like to share!