5 Ways to Leave Writer's Block in the Dust
It’s happened to all creators.
A deadline looms in the distance while you stare at a blank screen. Every minute is a moment closer to the due date. But the well you’ve drawn from for creative ideas is dry. Your anxious mind let's you know this bout of writer's block could spell the end of your career.
Here are some tips for escaping a creative rut.
5. Go outside.
Get out of your cold, tiled cubicle or open-space, office zoo and enjoy nature. Take a walk outside. Get those endorphins kicking in and soak up some vitamin d.
This will calm your Thoroughbred mind, and you can go through the steps of where to begin, what works, what doesn’t, etc.
4. Move your work spot.
Have you ever laid in bed, your mind racing with thoughts like “how many sheep do I have to count before I fall asleep?” or “when will these sleep aids kick in?”
Then you surprise yourself. After checking your phone after another frustrating hour of insomnia purgatory, you move to the couch and fall into a deep, restful sleep.
This also works for creativity.
When we move spots, our minds acclimate to new surroundings. Our minds subconsciously open up to new ideas.
3. Eliminate distractions.
We all have that friend or coworker that brags about being skilled at multi-tasking. Spoiler. That person is lying. It’s scientifically proven that our productivity suffers when we multi-task and have multiple distractions.
Even catching a whiff of distraction can derail whatever we’re working on.
I.e. don’t work in the same room you just binge-watched Hoarders Season 5 in.
I have my own method for eliminating distractions. I write out most of my ideas with a ballpoint pen and paper. Otherwise, my browser has 18 taps open, and instead of creating, I’m watching videos of golden retriever puppies struggling to climb up steps.
Also, working in a small, sparsely decorated room helps too.
2. Look for inspiration.
Here’s the first thing I do when I get stuck. I read passages from my favorite novels or open up coffee table books dedicated to beautiful design. This works 85% of the time.
It works for most creators.
So walk through your local art museum. Pull up your Instagram feed and look at what other creators are up to. Peruse through that novel that made you fall in love with writing.
Remind yourself why you love doing what you do. Your passion will spill into your work.
1. Just do it.
As Stephen King said in his book On Writing “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work."
Put pen to paper. Pull up Photoshop or Illustrator. Start working. The story or piece will unfold on its own. If it’s bad, it’s bad. Keep going. You will eventually discover something great, and hone your skills along the way.
This may contradict the earlier points. But most of the writer's block phenomenon is fueled by anxiety. When we get started working, our sub-conscious starts to bring up ideas our conscious mind has ignored or hidden behind walls of insecurities and anxious thoughts. In the end, we surprise ourselves with inspiration we didn’t realize was there.