"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Friday, November 4, 2011

7 Tips for Overcoming Writer's Block

This guest post is brought to us by Amy Reynolds, author of articles about online dating for Free Dating Sites for Women.

If you’re a writer, there’s no doubt that you’ve been there before…sitting at your laptop and staring deep into a blank screen that is the Word document waiting to be filled with your most brilliant and eloquent literature. But you’ve got the block. So now what?
Next time you have the overwhelming feeling of being stuck in an uninspired pit of a writer’s block that has you teetering on the ledge of setting fire to your journalism degree, check out the following tips for getting past it:
Tip #1: Make a schedule. When you set a schedule and stick to it, your mind will follow your body. Carve out some time each day to write…even if you set aside one hour, that is a great start. Just make sure you pick a time when you are relaxed and can easily focus on the task at hand. In creating a schedule, be sure to implement deadlines. When you have a certain goal and a date to work towards, you will better manage your time and get into a good habit.
Tip #2: Go easy on yourself. Any writer knows that writer’s block is a very real and very frustrating thing, but you can’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone experiences it—even the greats—so you’ve got to trust that the block will pass. Hold off on the criticism until the editing portion of the process comes into play.
Tip #3: Don’t succumb to panic. Although you may feel the fear setting in that you won’t be able to meet a deadline or get the job done, panicking will only worsen the situation. Eliminate your anxiety by sticking to your schedule. Force yourself to write and you will find that you will bypass the worry — because you’re already writing.
Tip #4: Take a breather. Anytime you’re really focused on your work and finding it difficult to go on…take a step back. When you’ve been writing non-stop for a while your mind just needs to take some time off to regroup. Partake in other activities that you enjoy or just get some rest. Afterwards, you will be refreshed with new ideas and inspiration and will be ready to get writing again!
Tip #5: Examine any self-issues. Sometimes if you have things going on in your personal life, it can have a huge effect on your writing, hampering you from expelling the creativity within. If you’re going through a tough time, try taking to pen and paper about the issues that are troubling you. Through some creative writing, you may find that you can release any pent up feelings that have brought on the writer’s block. If this doesn’t work, try talking to a friend or even seeking the help of a counselor.
Tip #6: Pick a good writing environment. What is your writing space like? Is it someplace where you feel comfortable to be your most creative self? If not, pick a positive atmosphere that encourages you to work hard. Avoid a place that is distracting. To minimize distractions even more, don’t get on the internet while writing. Also if you write in the same place every single day, another good idea is to switch it up from time to time so you don’t get bored of the same space and routine.
Tip #7: Remember why you write. Examine the reasons and goals behind your work. Are you writing what you love? Does it feel like play…or does it feel forced? Try to focus on the parts of writing that you are passionate about and you will be able to reconnect with it on more of an artistic level rather than a work level.

14 comments:

Paula Martin said...

Some great advice here, Sylvia! Agree especially about not panicking, since that in itself become counter-productive. Excellent post!

Dr. Niamh Clune said...

All great tips Sylvia! Thank You, although my problem is I can't STOP writing. It's a bit like the ballet of the Red Shoes. Only instead of affecting my feet, the spirit affects my fingers so that they type and type and type and...

Carrie said...

Great advice for overcoming writer's block.

LJR said...

Tip #7 is the most important one to me. Oftentimes, when I'm feeling directionless, out of inspiration, frazzled, or frustrate, I'll reflect on the reasons behind my writing. This brings mental clarity and helps me work my way through a tough patch.

Good post! Thanks.

Sylvia Ney said...

Great job Amy - wonderful reminders!

mooderino said...

Excellent advice.



cheers,
mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino
The Funnily Enough

Southpaw said...

I love tip #3.

karenselliott said...

I think #5 is especially critical. You can do all the others, but if you are dealing with issues in your personal life, then all things suffer.

shelly said...

I experienced #5 last week. My life was in total turmoil.

Tonja said...

#2 for sure - giving yourself permission to not be anywhere near perfect on the first draft.

Lorelei said...

First drafts are murder. Second drafts a little better.

I know my limitations and when I need a break I take it. A walk will do wonders. Reading a favorite author also gets the inspiration humming.

These were all great ideas. Thanks for the reminder!

jan said...

#7--definitely! I also agree with Dr. Clune--just can't seem to tear myself away from it.

LTM said...

All great tips! Schedules help me so much, but #5 and #7 can be killers, too. These are great tips for overcoming these things. Thanks, Amy & Sylvia! :o)

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