See? It’s been half an hour, and I still haven’t written anything in this document! I’ve tried to start over a billion times, variations on ‘Hey there!’ and ‘Alright, today’s topic will be…’ reiterating themselves in front of my eyes over and over and over again. But guess what? After the first sentence, my pinky flicks over to the backspace key, and that entire sentence just reverses into space. By now you’ve probably just about guessed what I’ve decided to blab about this time: Writer’s block! (Otherwise known as the bane of my existence…)
So first off, what is writer’s block? For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term (though I’m sure most of you are…) it’s basically when you go to write something, but find yourself staring blankly out the widow instead. You want to write, or maybe have to write something down, for a project or homework, or maybe even for your own amusement, but nothing comes out. It’s like suddenly the pen that was scribbling so furiously onto the paper finally ran out of ink. This usually results in poorly written analogies (like that one) repeating sentences, or literally nothing. Well, my dear Frodo, today is the day I tell you something very important: You are not alone. Countless writers experience writer’s block each day, and oftentimes for more than a week at a time. If you’re like me, it means that you can’t write unless the planets align, at which point I’ll be dishing out pieces of writing like a chef at a fast food restaurant. (That’s two bad analogies already, oh boy…) However, there are periods right after that beautifully magical time of writing. A time I call writer’s block. Now that we’re clear about how this vicious cycle of writing works (does that even count as another bad analogy? Was that even an analogy? No one will ever know…) we can work on ways to solve it!
1. Write, write, write!
This is probably one of the most important steps. Whether you’re working on a short story, a novel or even an essay, getting words on that page is crucial. Even if it’s complete hogwash, just keep writing! Most of it may be horrifying and full of bad analogies, but you can always edit later! Part of writing something is going over to correct things and making everything clear. That way, you’ll probably get the majority of whatever you were trying to convey out of your system, and just have to correct it. You’ve already washed and dried the dishes; now all that’s left is to put them back in their proper places!
2. Find something else to write about.
This can be a really great help. You’ve got to shake up the pen so the ink starts running again! Write about something other than what you’d planned, it could be about anything; from why pumpkin pie is the most delicious food, to a letter your MC (main character) wrote to their dead mother. It just has to be something to get you out of that writing rut. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the greatest piece of writing either, just let your creative juices flow free like an unrestrained pony! You can also find plenty of writing prompts on the web, if you really can’t think of anything.
3. Get inspired!
If the reason you can’t seem to write is because you’re not inspired, then inspire yourself! Read a well-written book, listen to some beautiful music, or watch a scenic movie. Immerse yourself in the creativity of others and get some ideas from them. Be careful with this, though, as you don’t want to end up copying the person exactly. If you’re doing it for school, it’s always good to site any resources at the end of your essay.
4. Take a break.
It’s as simple as that! Sometimes writer’s block can be resolved merely by going for a walk. Getting your mind off of the topic is a good way to refresh yourself. It’s even better if you do exercise; walking or running, or maybe going for a bike ride can get the blood flowing to your brain again.
5. Get a change of scenery.
This is one of the tactics that help me the most. Just switching to writing on paper instead of typing or vise versa can get my brain to start thinking and the words to start flowing again. It’s also quite good to change the scenery in the sense of changing the setting. This can be as simple as bringing your writing to another room, or maybe even walking to the nearest park to write. It doesn’t matter where you go, just as long as you find a spot you can concentrate in.
That’s all folks! Hopefully if you used one of these tactics your writing should flow a little easier, and make more sense. Remember, writer’s block is something every writer goes through and just because it’s lasted more than a few months doesn’t mean your writing career is over. Be patient; the planets will align again soon.