If you’ve been writing for any time, odds are you’ve encountered writer’s block. That inability to string two words together. For some unexplainable reason, your muse has left you high and dry. You’re fully in the grips of writer’s block.
The funny thing about writer’s block is all you have to do is get started writing and it goes away. All you need is a little momentum to get through your writer’s block and writing will once more come effortlessly and begin to flow. But what is momentum, where does it come from and how do you get some?
In this post, I discuss ways to overcome writer’s block and get writing again.
The Thing About Momentum
Momentum is that relentless rolling force that gets things done. You need momentum to get things done. Unfortunately, you need to get things done to build momentum. It’s the ultimate chicken and the egg situation.
So what do you do to get started.? Do anything. Momentum comes from doing things. Do anything to build momentum.
Have you ever tried to push a stalled car and found that it’s difficult to get moving from a dead halt but easier to keep moving once you have it moving? It doesn’t matter where you push the car because you can always steer it once you get it moving. But first you need to get it moving. That’s the same thing with momentum. Momentum builds with anything you do. You need momentum to get things done. So, do anything to build momentum so you can start doing the things you need and want to do.
Here are some suggestions of things to do to get over writer’s block.
Write Your Way Through Writer’s Block
The bullheaded approach to overcoming writer’s block is to write your way through it. Simply write anyway. You may not produce your best work, but with a matter of minutes, you should have re-encountered your old productive self.
Set Small Writing Goals
Try setting small writing goals to see if you can get started. Challenge yourself to write the best sentence you can. See if you can finish a paragraph. Setting small, easily achievable goals is best used with rewarding yourself to set your mind and fingers in motion. Don’t try to conquer the world in a single day. Set short achievable goals.
I use checklists containing small goals. The reward for achieving a goal is getting to check it off the list. This is very rewarding.
Do Something Else – Take a Walk
Take a break from writing. Walk the dog or have a snack. Go work in the garden. Return to your writing refreshed.
Sometimes writer’s block occurs because you legitimately need a break from writing. Don’t fight it, take the break. Try to make your break rewarding and refreshing. Get away from your writing spot. See fresh sights and be sure to breathe. Visit with people and explore new ideas.
Do Something Related – Edit Your Work
Instead of trying to write, do something related for a while to warm up your engine. Edit your work for a while. This is very close to writing and may ultimately turn into writing.
Write Something Else
Maybe you just don’t want to write what you’re working on. Try moving to a different section of your work and writing there instead. What you’re trying to write may be the cause of your writer’s block. Note that writing out of sequence is easier to do if you have a strong outline.
When you finally write, be sure to reward yourself. In fact, decide ahead of time what reward you’re going to give yourself for writing the next paragraph.
There’s no reason to do something you don’t want to do if you will get nothing for it but more scolding and chastising. Instead, give yourself a reward for writing. Soon you’ll start writing just so you can get those rewards.
And that’s how to overcome writer’s block.
I’ll see you in the classroom,