Ah, writer’s block. There’s no need to write an introduction to it, don’t you think? We all know what it is. We’re all familiar with it. We all experience it at one point or another — some more often than others.
I would rather head straight to the point and tell you how to trick your brain in order to get rid of writer’s block.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking right now. Here’s another article about writer’s block with the same old advice. And how many of them are out there, really? I know that I alone have read dozens of them.
The thing is, as valuable as other writers’ advice might be, in my case when it came to writer’s block, none was helpful. With time, I came up with my own ways to deal with this peculiar struggle we writers face.
Someone could consider my ways unconventional. Even silly, maybe? What matters is that they work.
1. Engage in Another Kind of Creative Activity
Just think about it. Writing is a creative activity. When you struggle with writer’s block, it’s like that part of you that’s responsible for processing any creative process is locked. And when you force yourself to sit down and think about something to write on, the lock gets even more heavily seized.
So, what’s the solution? To engage in another creative activity. Do you know what I do most of the time writer’s block hits me? I sit down and start drawing. And no, I’m not good at drawing. I’m actually quite horrible. I draw ugly cats, funny faces, and crooked houses.
Yet, somehow, this creative process magically unlocks my brain and poof— goodbye writer’s block! Now, you might hate drawing. And it’s totally fine. There are many other creative activities you can occupy — and therefore, unlock — your mind with.
Grab your camera and start taking photos. Edit your photos. Play a musical instrument. As long as it’s a creative activity, it could be anything.
2. Take a Look at the Objects Surrounding You
Don’t know what to write about? Just take a look at the objects surrounding you. Every object has a story to tell and you can use them to craft a unique, engaging story of your own. Let me give you an example.
Yesterday I was sitting at my desk, looking at some notes. On the desk, right next to me, was a quill pen made from a red feather. It is one of my favorite objects and a souvenir I bought from one of my travels in Madrid, Spain.
Quill pens remind me of history, magic, witches — and the one I own also brings me memories of my travel in Spain. But what does that have to do with writer’s block, you ask? Well, by taking a look at it, dozens of writing ideas fill my mind: my traveling experiences, traveling in general, sightseeing in Spain, stories about magic or witchcraft, historic events and so much more.
That’s actually what led me to write this story you’re now reading. Because what do you do with a quill? You write. Don’t let me expand on the hundreds of writing-related topics one can write about.
3. Let the Smell of Stationary Inspire You
This one is short, simple, and might sound somewhat silly. I’m actually a bit embarrassed writing this because I know how unconventional it may sound. Nevertheless, I’m still gonna recommend this one to you: let the smell of stationary inspire you.
You know what smell — the one that fills your lungs when you enter a bookstore. The smell of new books, pencils, erasers. I absolutely adore this smell. And I have to tell you that it’s also something that inspires me to write — and could inspire you, too.
Sometimes, when I find myself facing a dead-end in regards to writing prompts and ideas, I grab a book, a pencil, or simply some paper and smell them. I can’t quite explain it, but this smell fills my mind not only with positive thoughts but also with writing inspiration.
4. Change the Way You Write
Most writers will advise you that establishing a routine is essential when it comes to succeeding as a writer. Although I don’t necessarily disagree with that statement, I would say that sometimes routines can block your mind.
Sometimes, changing the way you do things and making a slight alteration to your habits and your everyday routine can prove to be pretty helpful for breaking the writer’s block cycle.
You could try to change the time of the day you usually sit down to write; the place you choose to do most of your work; or even the process of writing itself.
For example, when I find it a bit challenging to express my thoughts into words or struggle to choose and analyze a writing idea, I switch from typing words on my laptop to handwriting. Somehow, the latter makes it easier for my mind to analyze my thoughts and compose words.