As a writer, there’s nothing worse than opening a document and facing an empty page — with zero ideas for where to start. Writer’s block can happen to everyone, but the process of gaining the inspiration to work through it can vary from writer to writer.
Inspiration is different for everyone
The type of writing you are undertaking can influence what gets you past your writer’s block. Someone who is writing a technical manual may have a better outcome with outlines than someone creating a piece of fiction.
The most important thing to consider when searching for inspiration is that not everything may work for you. Find the tip or trick that works best for you, and keep switching it up! Here are a few ideas.
1. Try reading something new.
Ray Bradbury, the author of “Fahrenheit 451,” suggests reading often — and “intensely” — and writing every single day. Think of your writing chops like any other part of your body you would exercise: if you’re not working out your brain to read and write, you aren’t building up that muscle.
2. Allow yourself to daydream.
Daydreaming is a form of freethinking, and it allows you to reset neural pathways that may have otherwise become clogged and distorted. Thinking without inhibition can free up blocks of mental space and leave you feeling refreshed.
3. Go outside, or outside your comfort zone.
Sometimes we can become trapped inside our own homes or our comfort zones. Try to get out and see nature, learn about history or travel to somewhere new. Even if you don’t leave your city or block, just getting out and seeing something new can help open your mind.
4. Keep on writing.
This one might seem a bit strange — you have writer’s block, so how are you supposed to keep writing? But it has two parts: maintaining the willpower to keep going and forcing yourself to create a habit.
By using your willpower, you spur yourself to keep going, running into a wall but then making it through.
Building a habit of writing will trick your brain into believing you have to write every day.
5. Take a break.
As opposed to the previous tip of continuing, sometimes it’s essential to take a break. If you’re stuck and nothing else is working, take a few moments to walk away. My best advice? Don’t quit for good — quit for food. Food for thought or food for fuel? That’s up to you.
6. Focus on the details.
Seeing a broad, complicated topic ahead of you can become overwhelming or lead to writer’s block. One great way to overcome your mental clog is to create an outline. If you already have some key points to research, try finding the relevant data for those points first. If not, begin by creating a rough outline of how you want the article to look. Sketch in some basic headers and topics, or the path you want the article or piece to take. You may find that the more form you give the outline, the more inspiration you find for your writing!
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