5 Tips for Combating Writer’s Block

3년 전

5 tips to help you prepare for and break out of writer’s block.

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Tips for Combating Writer's Block

It can strike any time you're looking at a blank screen or piece of paper:

Writer's block.

It's a hopeless feeling when words and ideas disappear as if they were never there. While many on the Internet will say writer's block doesn't exist, the truth is it does happen. But you can't let it be an excuse for not writing (which is what the deniers say it is). Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for it, and techniques to use to get out of it.

Prepare for it


One of the best remedies for writer's block is to never let it get hold of you in the first place. Or at least if it does, the moment is fleeting because you've put some practices in place to prevent it from stopping you. The ideas below are easy to do and don't take much time.

Keep a list of topics and ideas

Inspiration hits at the most inconvenient times: in the shower, at the grocery store, while driving or in the middle of the night in a dream. Don't let all those good ideas slip away!

Keep a notebook, or use an app on your phone, to record the ideas when they come. If you can't write it down right away, do it as soon as possible. If you're using your phone, you can even try to use Siri, or the equivalent on your device, to make a voice recording of your ideas. When I'm in the car I say "Hey Siri," then she asks what I want. I'll say something like "take a note" then tell her what to put into the note or reminder.

How ever you record your ideas, keep them handy. Next time you can't think of anything to blog about on Steemit, pull out the list and start writing.

Feed your soul

In Julia Cameron's The Artists Way, she suggests many different ways to help fuel creativity. One of my favorite suggestions is to go on an Artist's Date. Don't worry, you don't need to find a date. In fact, it's required you "go" on this date alone.

She suggests that once a week you participate in a creative activity outside your usual practice. That means if you're a writer, do something creative that isn't writing. You can paint, draw, sing, build a birdhouse, or dance. Don't stress about not knowing how to do that activity. Here's how The Artist's Way website puts it:

The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery.

Mischief. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

Create the habit

Have you ever tried to break a habit? It's a hard thing to do because most of us are creatures of habit. Thankfully creating a new habit isn't as hard as quitting. It only takes a little planning and time.

When it comes to your writing, plan out what you want to do:

  • Where will you write?
  • When will you write?
  • How will you write?
  • What do you need to write?

For example, I usually write at night after everyone has gone to sleep. I sit at my computer with the room lights off. I have a glass of water and my phone I use to play music that helps me focus. It's at these times I do my most productive writing. Setting up these conditions triggers my brain and body to know now is the time I write - and I just do it. I rarely have any trouble getting words out unless there are unusual circumstances that day.

Think about a routine, ritual or habit - whatever you want to call it - that you can put in place to train yourself into the habit of writing. It might take some finagling, but you'll find a combination that works.

Work your way out of it


When all your preparation fails, and you find you're still staring at a blank page, don't give up! Here are a couple of ideas to help you get the words flowing again.

Use prompts

Writer's prompts are little snippets designed to get you thinking and writing. They might be just one word or a phrase. They can be completely crazy, or simple and reflective. For example:

  • What is your favorite memory from before the age of 12?
  • Write about your favorite food and the first time you ever ate it.
  • A purple and white panda bear snuck up on the blue and white tiger...(finish the story)
  • Party (the one-word prompt to the Day 200 freewrite run by @mariannewest here on Steemit)

You read a prompt and just start writing about it. This takes the pressure off because you don't have to come up with the idea. You simply follow the directions for the prompt. You can find zillions of prompts online by googling "writing prompts”.

Use discipline to write through it

So you have a blank page? All you have to do is fill it up. Really, I mean that literally. It doesn't matter what you put on the page, just start filling it.

Even if you're not inspired, or motivated, you're still having thoughts right? Write those down. Start writing your thoughts as fast as you can type them and don't stop. Whatever you're thinking, just put it down. Even if you're repeating "I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write," over and over, keep doing it. Eventually, you'll get to "This is really stupid. I know what to write. I want to write about..."

And you're there. Or at least you'll be somewhere. The persistence of writing like this eventually opens the floodgates to your creativity whether you realize it or not. It might not be where you wanted your writing to go, but you'll be going somewhere.

One thing the Internet is right about: writer's block doesn't have to exist. Use the tips above, and you'll always be able to keep writing.

How do you deal with writer's block? Please share in the comments so we can all learn from each other.

NtOwl-thumbnail.png @ntowl , The Night Owl Writer

“We have loved the stars too fondly to be afraid of the night.” - the old astronomer

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I have just started writing and your tips are very helpful. Sometimes I wait until it's too perfect in my head before I start writing. I should just write more often.

or one can simply become a ulogger and create ulogs. #ulog got 2029 posts and more than 6k comments in the first 6 days

Really a good tip for getting started with blogging

Very interesting! thanks for sharing! by the way, great cover photo for this article!

I've found doing content gap analysis effective.

You could use keyword research tools to scan competitors and find topic clusters you'd like exploring. Or, simply going through archives/start here pages/popular posts for general ideas.

I usually let those ideas 'mature' for a while before swinging back around since the time between I'd likely explore the topics.

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I love this idea!

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I agree that's a really good technique too. You'd never run out of topics that way as long as you keep up the research.

I always envision my ideas "percolating" rather than maturing. But that just shows how old I am!

Hi! @hyperfundit excellent post i like your post and just resteemed your nice post @fastpromoter new on steem.

A simple but easy suggestion at the heart of a problem that is often experienced by a writer. I myself am very difficult to write because of my work, but as much as possible I write, even if only a poem.

Favorite food ....pizza and I know the first time I eat it. Good idea .lol

Thanks for the tips @hyperfundit. I haven't coped well with this issue. I've tried smoking weed, but it doesn't work consistantly..

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I've honestly never tried that...maybe give one of the suggestions in the post a try and see if they work more consistently. As long as you get back to writing it doesn't matter what gets you there.

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I've never had writer's block. As soon as I start writing, new ideas keep coming. If I stop writing, the ideas stop. So when I feel blocked, if I just start with some nonsense, it's fixed. I feel blessed that my brain works this way...

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I'm envious, a little, of not having ideas when you're not writing. My brain is always finding ideas and telling stories and I want to write, write, write. But there's this thing called life that gets in the way 80-90% of the time. At least I can say I'm never bored!

thanks for sharing nice tips keep it up :)

Try this @hyperfundit : do a chapter list with headings on a blank doc, and then open one Google/cloud tab for each chapter doc or story part. Write one sentence on each page, in each tab, maybe the last sentence. There... now you've got your whole book in one browser. You just need to expand on it and it'll be done in no time!
You could also read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick (!)

This post has received a 38.28 % upvote from @boomerang.

I take 1000 mg of FUCITOL (pronounced fuck-it-all) and have a glass of wine. Once I put it down, I just start writing in free flow. Then I go back and make it have logical flow.

Great list, that all helps if you do what you mentioned as preparing for it! Working out and listening to music and or watching movies is a great way to occupy the mind to free up creativity.

Hello, @hyperfundit greetings from Venezuela. I hope we can share pleasant moments on the Steemit platform.

Regarding the article, I found it interesting because not all the time we have the privilege of being inspired by a specific theme, but ideas come and go at every moment ...

Many people outside of what you do probably tell you every day

  • "Hey, your job is easy, just sit down and write anything" ...

But no! It's not that simple ...

You need to put a 100% which is distributed as follows:

20% talent and 80% passion

Besides that we are researchers of birth and sometimes perfectionists. We seek to investigate interesting topics that also always please readers and all that generates an energy expenditure. That is why, we must have a comfortable place for thoughts to flow and be able to engage them in different paragraphs. When things are done from the heart they come out better :)

Thank you so much for these advices! I got the writer's block often lately... I try writing little things besides the bigger progects in order to get my head relaxed!

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Sounds like you could use a writer's date! Take some time doing those little things that aren't writing and it will help spark your creativity.

Loving this post, new at steemit, and find just what I was looking for thanks for sharing your secrets :D

Great tips. Thankyou! I've used some of these but not all. Wonderful reminder.

Creating a habit is really important as long as the habit is useful. You're right @hyperfundit!

  ·  3년 전

Quite an interesting and very informative content. Thanks for sharing.

This is amazing. I'm currently experiencing the longest episode of writer's block in my life, going on 3 months. These tips will definitely help get my creative juices flowing. Thanks a lot for inspiring me today

Hello! I followed you, I hope you will follow me. We will develop together! ;

This is very helpful. Thank you for sharing. We all have those times when we need some useful proven tactics to overcome writers block. These are some great ideas and tools, hopefully I never have to use them

You got a 38.83% upvote from @upmewhale courtesy of @hyperfundit.supp!

Earn 100% earning payout by delegating SP to @upmewhale. Visit http://www.upmewhale.com for details!

When I have trouble, I usually take a break from whatever it is I'm working on right then, switch to something else for a bit, then come back when I'm ready. I usually have at least 2-3 stories going at a time.

Big boss
Nice article

I love the artists way! Another helpful way, I've found, to open the channel to your creativity or inspiration is to mediate for twenty minutes. Or yoga. Anything that clears your mind and constant barrage of thoughts, which often get in the way.

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Agreed @leamagda. I find walking too, just in nature without devices or anything can do the same thing. Anything that can clear and relax your mind will help.

Improving on your writing skill is a must if you must get better. It goes beyond getting motivated. When the motivation comes, how do you pen it down?

So as writers, we must always strive to become better. Self improvement is a must in every skill we have or set out to develop.

This is indeed a great article.

In the process of feeding my soul, i read a lot. I read all kinds of books ranging from different genre.

Thanks.

Warm Regards: Efe Christopher

Thank you these five steps is great. We just need to get the tips. @neliohaiti

My head is full of ideas but rarely i put on a page and then I forgot them, now I am writing in every free moment and do a list of what I want to write. Al the tips in you article are really helpful.

I am just not to knowable and what not to whrite with ease

Great stuff you have made on this article thanks for share here

Excelente post, esto me ayudara bastante y ya tengo una idea... muchísimas gracias!

My cure is simply coffee ☕😤 @hyperfundit

Great tips! I actually own the Artist's Way and haven't read it!! Thank you for the reminder :) I totally agree that ideas pop up in the most "random" times.. I've been learning that if I don't act once the inspiration strikes, or at least take a note about my idea, and think "I'll get back to it later" later never comes, and the idea is gone..

This is a really great post. I try to keep a notepad handy at all times. When ideas come in in bits, I save them. Sometimes, we are flooded with ideas, and I do remember sometimes, when my brain is working faster than my hands can type or write, and I'm just like "calma, calma, you all will get out of my head pretty soon!"

you got a classic shot..love it

Interesting post...😊

writing is in the soul but once the soul is hijacked ,writers block sets in

Something that has worked for me, is to write (to myself) about something completely different from the topic I want to write, then suddenly when all the yiberish is coming out, the ideas for the other topic start slurping and I can start writing again... at least bullet points to develop later.
Hope it helps :P !
Money tree edit2.jpg

Nice tips, I will consider it at the time of writing my post

Excelente post amigo =). Gracias por compartir tu experiencia con nosotros. Particularmente a mi me llegar la inspiración cuando salgo de viaje, entre caminos, cascadas, rios y playas mi mente vuela

In my opinion, is a universally effective method that is suitable for almost everyone. Just don't do anything. That is absolutely nothing. Generally. Just lie down and lie down. It is possible to do this on a nature to travel, for example. But you can just on the couch to fall. The absence of external stimuli gives rise to a stream of thoughts or sleep. If you're not tired, you won't sleep. So just lie down, and inspiration will come. Only to not do anything at all. No music, no video, no phone. Shut the hell down. Preferably even slash counter at the entrance to the house and pull the batteries out of their phones and other devices that might distract from inaction.

I have the list. The handy dandy notebook. And it is overflowing with topics to write about in steemit.

I like your tips to follow

Nice tips, I have the opposite issue, too many things going at the same time. So many ideas so little time. It can be a pain going back and forth, I manage to talk myself out of posting~ the internal editor/critic won’t let go. In essence very little gets posted due to the Blasted editor because I can’t seem to kill him/her😉

I know thats feeling, when you sit in front of your laptop thinking what you should write about. Get tired, frustrated and hungry, but still dont know what to write about :P
Good work, keep it up :)

Good tips, specially the one related to feed your soul. Your soul is a machine, needs food, joy, energy... And that's one of the hardest tasks in life.. Or the hardest one?

I caught

                                                 writer's

block .

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omg what interested me the most , is the quote u added at the end, im so fond of the stars and moon that the night is beautiful as opposed to scary. <3 writers block occurs to me most of the time / not rather all the time. i wish to write and suddenly "BAM" i go blank. totally agree with ur ideas, i love writing in the latest of the night in the quiet its so peaceful at that time that my brain just flows and can focus.
and when any idea pops into my head for sure its best to note it down immediately our brain is like so overloaded that in just a few hours its like u never got a mind blowing idea in the first place.
im inspired by the section of feed your soul i think a date with oneself is a must not only for this but in so many other things, self love , happiness etc definitely will note down these tips and practice it.

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@moonprincess, Glad you noted the quote! It has been my favorite quote for about 35 years. I first read it in Cosmos by Carl Sagan. I've looked for the original author but the old astronomer is all I could ever find consistently.

One look up at a star-filled sky and I'm happy and filled with inspiration.

It is easy to get overloaded so try going on the artist date to feed your soul. Let me know how it goes!

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Thank you will definitely keep u updated :-)