Writer’s block is one of the most frustrating things that a writer can experience, especially if they write for a living. Unfortunately, it’s something that everyone faces now and then, no matter how creative or prolific they may be. The good news is that there is always a way through it. Here are some tried and true measures for dealing with writer’s block in a useful manner.
Just like with any career or hobby, practice makes perfect so it is important that you don’t let a slump keep you from writing at all. Take the time every day to write at least a little bit, whether or not it is a part of a particular project. Keeping a journal is a good exercise for writers; just jot down any thoughts you may have about the day, along with any story or poem ideas that may arise. Set aside a time every day to do this, even if it’s only for ten minutes. If writing only for yourself is too uninspiring, try writing a letter every day, either by e-mail or longhand. This practice will also help you cultivate your relationships, which are very valuable for someone in a largely solitary profession. You could also sign up for a review website and write about books, music or movies.
They say that great writers are great readers, so if you don’t feel like writing, why not read instead? Try to keep a list of books that you want to read and pull one of those out during a time of low creativity. You might try reading about writing, seeing what advice accomplished writers have to offer, or you could get lost in the pages of a great novel or some inspiring poetry. Not only will you be experiencing great writing at work, you may find that you find some new ideas for your own writing.
Have a Writer’s Group
Why not start a group made up of friends who enjoy writing? If you arrange to meet periodically, you can spur each other on. Your friends can offer suggestions on new directions that you can go with your writing, and you can feel good about reading and critiquing the work of others and thus being helpful to them. Talking about writing for a couple of hours can do wonders for revving up your writing engines. This might also be a good time to dust off an old story or poem and let it see the light of day.
Experience the World
The more you see and hear of the world, the more you are able to put pen to paper about it. If you don’t feel like writing, maybe it’s a good day for a field trip. Go into town and spend some time observing people and making note of their unique habits. Take a nice long stroll through the woods and soak in the beauty and silence of nature. Go to the movies and see the craft of storytelling from a different angle. A change of scenery is sometimes all that is needed to get the creative juices flowing again.
Nobody ever said that writer’s block was fun, but if you see it as an opportunity rather than a stumbling block, you can turn an afternoon of staring at a blank screen into something much more worthwhile.