If you’re a writer or a student, chances are you’ve experienced writer’s block. It’s a very frustrating situation, so you may be wondering what exactly it is, why it happens, and how you can make it go away. Read on to find out!
What is writer’s block?
Writer’s block is when you are unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with your writing. It happens to every writer at some point in their lives, so if you have writer’s block, you’re not alone!
What causes it?
The reasons for your writer’s block may vary, but some common causes include timing (you may need more time to brainstorm and figure out your ideas), fear (many writers struggle with being afraid of putting their ideas and themselves out into the world), and perfectionism (when you try to get everything perfect in your head before you even start writing).
How do I get rid of writer’s block?
Here are some tried and true tips and ideas you can try for getting rid of writer’s block.
WHAT TO DO:
- Brainstorm ideas. Make a list, chart, or even a visual creative map of your ideas that you can follow as you write.
- Fill up an index card. Sometimes the blank page looks so big and empty that you feel as though you’ll never fill it up. Try filling up a smaller space with your writing, like a post-it or an index card. You’ll feel accomplished and you can keep going from there.
- Take a break. Sometimes you just need to step away from your writing for awhile. There’s nothing wrong with that; give yourself what you need.
- Change your environment. A change of scenery can work wonders for creativity.
- Eliminate distractions. Ask your family to give you some time alone for working so you don’t get interrupted. If the Internet distracts you while you’re working on the computer, programs like Ommwriter and StayFocused can help.
- Do a timed free write. Set a timer for a certain amount of time (I recommend 10-15 minutes) and write about whatever you like–your favorite hobby, a tv show, your best friend, what you can see out your window, or anything else you want. Just don’t stop writing until the timer is up! This can really get the creative juices flowing and help get you out of a slump.
WHAT NOT TO DO:
- Wait until you feel “inspired” to write. You could end up waiting forever, and you likely won’t your work done on time.
- Procrastinate. It’s okay to take a break, but give yourself a limited time away from your writing. When you come back, try one of the above ideas to get started.
- Read a bunch of articles about overcoming writer’s block. You might need some help, but it’s better to spend your time taking away some tips and doing something about it!
In the end, the only real way to overcome writer’s block is by writing–something, anything. It doesn’t have to be perfect right away because you can always edit it later. Just get the words on the paper and it will get easier. Good luck!
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