Even the best, most prolific writers sometimes find themselves stymied by writer’s block. Whether it’s a specific scene that won’t resolve or a plot element that fails to come together, it can be incredibly frustrating to feel as though you can’t continue the piece you’re working on. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take that help many writers overcome this frequent obstacle and return to creating.
Get out and move
One of the most frequently recommended methods for defeating writer’s block is to get some exercise : running, going to the gym, doing yoga. Whatever you prefer, stimulating the body can help do the same for the mind. Walking away from the problem and giving yourself a physical outlet will help you return with a clearer head and better perspective.
Do something else creative
Sometimes the problem you encounter during writer’s block is one of mental exhaustion. If you’ve been trying to tackle a specific passage or issue for an extended period, you may be sabotaging yourself. Stepping back and taking a break while still exercising the creative part of your mind can be a solution. You can try painting, collaging, editing images, composing- whatever you enjoy. Think of it as stretching your muscles differently to work out an ache.
Get rid of distractions
Declutter your space, turn off your phone and television. Distractions can lead to your mind being unable to focus on the task in front of you; eliminate anything that might divert your attention and ask anyone who lives with you to leave you alone for a few hours. You may find that peace, quiet and cleanliness is the solution.
Write through it
It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the solution to writer’s block is to keep writing . Many professionals recommend freewriting if you’re stuck; write whatever you want, and don’t worry about the quality. Ignore punctuation, spelling, and structure; simply putting something on the page can make it easier to return to your main project. The object is simply to force yourself to write.
Writing can be a complex enough process without the dragon of writer’s block barring your way. Find the strategy that works the best for you, attack the problem directly, then return to your work renewed and ready to write.
Originally published at https://michaelwolkindqc.net on May 27, 2021.