You grab your laptop and fire it up. You sit down in your favorite coach (bed if you are still living in a bedsitter) and wait for the computer to finish its bios as you think about how today you are gonna write. Then you navigate your laptop as you try to locate the word document. Finally, you managed to find it despite the disarray of software that you have thrown all over your computer even though you don’t use them (typically me). You double-click on it and relax as you wait for it to open. Once it’s open you select the “blank document” option.
Then there is the page. Whiter than milk staring right at your face. Daring you to start messing it up with words. But the problem is that the words are just not coming.
What the f**ck is happening to me? I can’t even think right now.
“Did I just turn into some dumb person between the time I fired up my machine and right now that I have just opened this blank word document?” you ask yourself pissed.
I dedicated today to answer that question for you. And the answer is as easy as 1,2,3…. As my primary mathematics teacher used to tell us in class any time we were unable to crack a math problem.
The answer is not that you are dumb.
What you are experiencing right now is called writer’s block.
There is no particular moment that I ever wonder where my time has gone than when I am writing. There is no time that I feel more alive than that time when I am punching in words into my computer.
But sometimes, I feel like throwing away my laptop immediately when I open my word software.
I don’t like the feeling, that is why I have taken my precious time (I have a tight schedule) to write this masterpiece that contains tips for any writer to try and reduce the effects of writer’s block.
Here we go…
8 Tips to Help You Kick Eliminate Writer’s Block
Avoid Perfectionism, It’s Killing Your Writing
You place your fingertips on your keyboard but then your mind starts wandering away. Your thoughts are looped in as below:
“This must be a masterpiece!”
“Everyone must love what I am writing.”
You edit as you write (If you ever manage to start). You can’t write even ten words without stopping and going back to check for any place where you might have gone wrong.
The process of writing becomes one hell of a nightmare to you.
You start dreading it.
You can’t even imagine yourself stuck in front of that screen agonizing.
Let me bring you back to reality. Perfection is killing your writing. Perfection is an idea. Nothing will ever be perfect. It might seem perfect to you. But that which seems perfect to you might seem like total crap to me.
So why not just write. Bring out all the ideas all at once. Avoid doubting yourself while you write.
Get done with that piece, get it out and let it get criticized. Learn from the critics and move on to the next masterpiece with more knowledge that you have acquired from your critics. By the way, this is the Knowledge you couldn’t have gained if you had kept that piece to yourself trying to perfect it.
Go for a Walk
I didn’t believe in this one until I tried it. Walking gets your juices rolling. It clears off your head and you are able to think more clearly.
Save your piece, put on some earphones. Crank some music on that phone of yours and head outside. Walk around the estate and I assure you by the time you are back in where you write, ideas will flow.
Review Your Past Writing.
Talking from experience. Whenever I feel really intimidated by a writing assignment, I get out my writing portfolio and look through it. When you read your successful previous work, it reminds you that you are a strong writer, and you can do this.
It tells you that you have already done it in the past and tells you to get off your lazy ass and start writing because that is what you do and you are already good at what you do.
Create a Deadline
The problem with our own writing is that no ‘boss’ is standing over us insisting we get the writing done by a specific time. So, create a deadline calendar of when your posts must be completed. Then, allow no recreation time until the deadline is met.
The thing I found with working with deadlines is that it gets you fired up. Your brain has a way of making tasks that have a deadline attached to them a priority. That is why I literally find myself very late into the night crafting blog posts just to beat the deadlines even if no one is waiting to fire me if I don’t finish the post in time.
For example, this blog post I am writing right now is due tomorrow. Right now, I am writing it, it’s 2300hrs. See what I mean?
Turn off the goddamn internet
Let your computer and phone be in airplane mode (even though you are not on a plane). Otherwise turn off that router or unplug that modem. The Internet is the temptation for writer’s block.
You will need to check your twitter. You will need to check who commented on your cat videos on YouTube and Instagram. You will need to see who got married recently on Facebook.
Finally, you will find that there is nothing that is important you have actually done.
Turn off the internet until you are done with what you are doing that is important. And what’s that? Writing!
Write Early in the Morning.
When you wake up, you are particularly well rested. Nothing is bothering you. Right then in the moment ideas flow easily. Your body is not tired. This is the best time to write.
Pick Up the Phone and Call an Old Friend
It does not matter what you talk about. Talk about that time when you went swimming back in the village and then some dumb ass kids hid your shorts. Talk about that crush that your friend couldn’t bring himself to go and talk to. Laugh your ass off. Then go back to your laptop and try writing again.
My favorite: Throw Caution to the Wind and Just Start Writing.
I reserved the best for the last. This is how I overcome my writer’s block 99% of the time.
I just ignore how I am feeling and start punching the first words that come to my mind into my word software. 2words… 3words…. By the time I reach 50words, I don’t even actually feel like stopping.
What Won’t Work
These are not methods that a writer should use to kill the writer’s block:
- Goofing off until you feel inspired to write
- Watching TV
- Surfing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram
- Reading self-improvement articles on the internet because you think that you are a loser
Finally, your turn. I know as a writer that you have been stuck in the writer’s block at least once in your life. How did you overcome it? Tell me in the comments.
Oh, by the way, you will not be telling me only, you will be telling each and every one who reads this blog post. So, share below.