The only thing a writer dreads (apart from an empty bank account) is facing the inevitable writer’s block. There is no epiphany that helps you strike gold in writing the next word. Writer’s block is not easy to overcome, and it is not about being fatigued or uninspired. This is far worse than that. You can’t put a label to the emotions that put you in such a state of discomfort.
Many solutions have been floated around, like listening to music, shutting yourself from any kind of music, going to a secluded place to think, writing in a public spot where you can experience the hustle and bustle of life, etc. Some might work for you, while the majority may not.
How does one defeat writer’s block then? Here are some of the things that you can try:
Write random stuff
Are you thinking about your lunch order from your favourite restaurant while struggling to put pen to paper? Never mind – write about your emotions associated with the food, the restaurant, and attached memories to the place, if any. Write in graphic detail about what you are thinking of. This will get your creative juices flowing.
Don’t work on it for a few days
Take a break from working on that particular article, book or report. Clear your head of the struggle in your mind. Give yourself time to recuperate, and go into another mode. The break gives you new perspective and might help kick-start the work. Like an epiphany, the answer that you were looking for might even reveal itself in a shower.
Don’t worry about the grammar, punctuation and spelling
There are perfectionists who find it discouraging to find themselves writing with grammatical mistakes. It breaks their concentration, as they are afraid of finding more mistakes, thus questioning their ability to write. Ideally, you should write in a flow such that the ideas swim to you automatically, without stopping to proof-read what you have written.
Read a book
No, do not pick up Salman Rushdie, or even a book like Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, which will make your head go bonkers. Pick up a simple book, preferably fantasy, and immerse yourself in it. Not only does reading someone else’s work open you up to a new style, you also find peace thanks to the power of the written word.
Take a walk, or even better, run
Going out in the sun for a walk, or even a late-night run, can help with your writer’s block. Observe people in the park, just sit silently for some time after your walk, and do nothing. Get curious about everyone on the road; imagine how they wound up in the city, possibly coming from different parts of the world. Weave a story for each of them using your imagination. You will begin to see the stress fade away.
Don’t aim for perfection
It is all right if it is not perfect, as long as it is presentable material. Do not worry too much about writing the perfect piece. Worry about giving your best – the rest will follow. You will never write anything at all if you concentrate on just perfection.
Talk to a friend
Does this seem counter-intuitive to you? In fact, this is probably one of the best ways to get out of writer’s block. Not only can you let your mind drift from the work by talking to a friend, if your friend is an expert on the topic, you could ask for his/her help as well. They might offer a completely different perspective which helps you work on your project.
Hope these tips help you get out of the rut. What do you do to de-clutter your mind and get back to writing?
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