Last night, I got ready to write and then I realized I wasn’t inspired to write. The dreaded writer’s block had struck. I wasn’t inspired and the thought of trying to even type one word out made my head hurt in a truly excruciating manner. So I didn’t write. I allowed myself to relax because I knew that trying to write an article was the last thing that was going to happen, and it would make further attempts harder, the more I pushed against the block. I’m familiar with writer’s block. I’ve experienced it in short doses, and even experienced an extended version of it for five years. When writer’s block strikes, the secret fear of the writer is revealed: Will I ever write again? Certainly I’ve faced that fear when I couldn’t write more than blog posts for five years. There are a few ways to handle writer’s block, which can be useful for helping you get back in touch with the creative juices.
1. Keep writing. Keep writing even when you don’t feel inspired to write. I wrote blog posts for a long time because that’s all I could write. Yet because I kept writing it helped me recognize I would write books again and also gave me a chance to improve my skills at writing blog posts. By continuing to write you teach yourself how to work through a writer’s block and sometimes you can get yourself re-inspired to write (I’m doing that by writing this article).
2. Try writing a different genre. If you feel stuck in one genre, try writing in a different one. For example if you write non-fiction, try writing fiction. The writing doesn’t have to be good writing…it just needs to get you writing and what it can do is give you some inspiration because you are doing something else other than writing what you usually write.
3. Do a different Creative activity. If you don’t feel like writing, make some music or do some art. Sometimes when I feel blocked, I’ll do some paintings, which will do a lot to free up my creative energies, because I’m providing myself an alternative medium to express myself. By doing a different artistic activity, you give yourself permission to enjoy what you are creating instead of trying to force yourself to create something.
4. Take a break and do something non-creative. When I’m feeling really blocked, I find it useful to just give myself a break and do something else altogether. I suggest applying the same idea to you as well. Watch a movie, exercise, lay a game, or go for a walk. Give your brain a chance to rest and refuel so that those creative resources can flow again.
Writer’s block doesn’t have to stop you writing. You just need to recognize it for what it is and give yourself a way to work with it. And remember…don’t give up writing. Give yourself a break if you need to, but then start writing again. It may not always come easy, but as long as you keep writing, you will eventually get back that creative flow that makes your writing so special.