Dealing with Writer’s Block

August 10, 2017

What do you do when you get writer’s block? I succumb to this “disease” often when I have been working long and hard, especially on several projects at one time. If there is a deadline looming, I can go into panic mode. Fortunately, this is not that often. It is a great joy when you get inspired and the words flow. It is a gift which makes people writers in the first place. There are a few things you can do to help the situation and get things moving along:

Relax and meditate to clear the mind. Find a dark quiet place with no one around. It will probably be at home. Any time of day is fine as long as you are not distracted. Don’t watch the kids, leave something on the stove, or have obligations.

Read someone else’s writing and absorb the vocabulary and style. It happens automatically and takes you away from your own blockage.

Take regular breaks from writing. Some people have to work on a schedule but there is no need to be obsessive about it. It is fine to try to write a few hours every day, but don’t be a slave to your self-imposed regimen. It is stressful to sit in front of a blank page on your laptop.

Reread some of your old work. It will make you realize that you can achieve success.

Exercise at least a few days a week to get the heart rate going and to pump up your energy. I like to play basketball when I can find someone to shoot hoops for practice. I can’t commit regular time for a team.

When I can’t go out as I am on a roll, I pretend that I am playing because I have installed a mini basketball hoop in my home office. I throw all my crumpled-up pages of bad writing through it.

It feels like you’ve accomplished at least something. Ha! I know it isn’t really true exercise and I even have a small ball in my desk as a kind of mockery of the real sport. When I have writer’s block (I call a mental cramp), this makes me laugh and I move on.

My biggest piece of advice is not to fall apart when writing seems impossible, like you never wrote a story or article before. Don’t let it get you down. Mood is really important when this is your profession. You need to be relaxed when sitting at your desk or table, stress free and ready to begin. Know that words don’t come in one second or two. Newbies take note. Veterans don’t expect miracles. They can text friends, read emails, listen to music or watch a little TV, either before or during their writing activity. You can’t force things. If you are not a natural writer, you need to learn to get in the zone. Good luck and happy writing.