You sit down to write up some fire content, but there is a big problem. You don’t have anything to say. Nothing is coming to mind, and you are just stuck. Many would call this writer's block. You come back the next day, and you have nothing to say again, and you feel like you are in a rut, you cannot get out of.
The good news is that there is a way to punch writer's block in the face. This issue is no different than having a creative break down in any avenue. The first thing you have to do is attack it head-on. There is only one way to end the drought, and that is to start writing. You can’t be having writer's block If you are writing no matter how bad you think it is.
I have written 100s of articles and my book at this point. I don’t think I am a gifted writer. I make a tonne of mistakes, and I know there are people more talented than me. But I learned how to punch writer's block so hard I knocked it out, It never tried to test me again.
“writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all”
― Charles Bukowski
Mental Solutions for Writer's Block
One of the first things you can do to destroy the writer's block is to read for a little bit. I know when I am in a heavy writing mode, I can forget to read, and its no good. To be a good writer, you have to be a frequent reader. You can’t have one without the other!
Reading allows you to take in writing from other people's perspectives. If you have a book you mainly think is an excellent example of fearless creativity, read that book. It will allow you to appreciate another author being vulnerable and laying out creativity at its finest.
Let the writing inspire. Don’t feel the need to judge or compare. Just read it for pure enjoyment to start. Maybe take some notes on things you really love about the book or the author's writing style and then move on.
Freewriting is my favorite way to power through any form of writer's block. When you free write, you don’t judge or edit at all. You do your best to put together a strong body of work on the topic, but you don’t edit anything until you are all done.
Free writing is powerful because it allows you to just go where your heart is taking you. Often, the reason you get writer's block is from a fear of not saying the right thing. You would see a lot more people with writer's block if writing was done via live streaming. Imagine as soon as you put words down; everyone could see it with no chance to edit? It would suck!
Freewriting is how you approach writing when you want to remove your brain out of the process a bit. The creative brain and the editing brain are very different. The creative mind needs space to roam, but the editing brain needs structure and direction, and they don’t operate well together.
If you need even more freedom then you can just do some vomit work. Vomit writing is how you make sure you are getting words down at all costs. You will remove your brain as much as possible when doing this type of writing. You will write whatever comes to mind. No need for punctuation or anything else. The sentences don’t even need to make sense. Whatever the word is that pops into your mind, you will write it down.
Writing vomit takes practice because we are so used to filtering what we're right and thinking about it. We are not concerned with that right now. We are just trying to slap writer's block in the face until it backs off.
Writing vomit does not even need to be read after. It does not matter what you say at all. What matters is that you see words on the page.
Call Out Your Fears
Writer's block often comes from fear. You may fear not being able to produce great work. You may be doubting your abilities as a writer or think that what you have done so far is garbage. Either way, you block your creativity because fear lets you know that you are not free to keep expressing. You try and think your way through your writing a lot more.
Call out your fears. List them out and confront them. When I started making my writing public, I wrote an article, and someone commented and said I write like a 3rd grader, and I was in my second year of college.
It made it so hard for me to write again because I was scared of the negative comments. That one comment destroyed me inside for a while. I realized something though, him attacking me is a reflection of him and not me. When I confronted the fear, I realized that I dared even to try. If I were a 3rd-grade writer, I would try my best to get to a 4th-grade reading level. Calling out fear helps you to see how stupid it is and how easily it can be overcome.
Physical Solutions to Writer's Block
Working out is a great way to refresh your creativity. Drop the writing and do a hard workout. It can't just be a light jog because you will still think about your work. It has to be hard enough that it makes you tired. You should be sweating and breathing hard to reap the benefits.
When you go workout, you get the blood moving through your body and brain. You get to approach things with a refreshed mind, precisely what you need to crush writer's block.
Have you noticed that great ideas usually come in the shower? It’s the only time of day that people are relaxed enough to think of great ideas. You can't generate ideas in a box stressed. Your brain needs some space to work at full capacity. If you are chasing your kids and getting dinner ready, it's hard for your mind to get that space in meetings at work.
Shower, get in the sauna or do anything to help you relax as much as possible. By relaxing your brain will enter into creativity mode and start working for you again. Sometimes just being aware that relaxing can do that can help to do it even better.
Drastically Change Your Environment
Sometimes you need to get out of your normal routine. I am a big routine guy, but I have seen this work so well in so many ways.
- If you're in the city, go to the country.
- Travel to another country
- Stay in a hotel
- Go drive to a place you never drive to
- Do an activity that you would never do
- Talk to a person who has opposite views that you do
- Do the opposite of your daily routine for a day
- Work standing up
- Work lying down
- Down work at all
Sleep Longer Than Normal
The list can go on and on. You want to do everything in your power to do nothing how you usually do. By changing your environment you can BUST through your rut. You will get inspiration from different things that are not like the same old things you are used to.
Kill That Writer's Block for Good
You can't run from this problem. You have to just go to a writer's block. You have to do the very things that your fears don’t want. You’re scared to put your work out there? Put your work out there anyway. Fear hates courageous people because they move forward anyway.
You have to decide that no matter what writer's block can’t win and do everything you can to get words on the page. After you get one word, go for a sentence. Then go for a paragraph, then hammer out an article. Before you know it, you will have a book finished!