We’ve all been there. You sit down at your computer with every intent to write the masterpiece you envisioned in your head. You take a sip of your morning coffee and go to write your first sentence and nothing happens. You can’t think of anything to write or write about. You self-diagnose this issue as writer’s block. How can we handle ourselves to get out of writer’s block when this disaster occurs? And better yet, how can we avoid it all together before it happens?
Everyone’s had writer’s block. No one is immune to this disease. Everyone from 3rd graders to New York Times Best Selling Authors get writer’s block. How do we handle this issue when it comes up? What’s going on in our brains that causes writer’s block?
The best exercise I like to do whenever I get writer’s block is to write about what angers me. Writer’s block occurs when there’s no activity going on in our brains. And the best way to stir things up in your head is to get angry believe it or not. Anger works better than any other emotion at getting rid of writer’s block. It triggers emotional responses in our mind that make it optimal to getting words on paper. An example of this is when people are angry, lots of times they go on rants and start to get into a flow of not thinking and just speaking. This is the closest thing to being in the flow for writers. We want to be putting words on paper without necessarily thinking. We want to be in flow while writing. I’ve tried this method with other emotions, but nothing seems to work as effective as anger.
Try writing briefly about what angers you. Chances are it’s something that you care about. If it wasn’t then you wouldn’t be having that emotional response. As you get writing, ask yourself if you want to keep writing about the topic that angers you or if you want to change topics. The beauty of this method is that it works either way. It works as a topic to write about and it also works as a warm up to get your mind flowing. It’s easy to write about what angers us. But that’s not always the topic that we initially want to write about. This method still works as a warm up. Start off by writing about what angers you for about half a page or so, then switch over to what you really set out to write. You will have the proper juices flowing now to really put words on paper.
Another tactic that I like to do when I come across writer’s block is to be bored. I like to purposely make myself bored. I will literally stare out of the window until something pops into my head. Our heads become so bored that they literally will think for us without us directing it. That’s what a day dream is. I allow myself to day dream to come up with ideas. It’s in that silence when our thoughts can become the loudest. If something pops into our heads without us purposefully thinking about it, then there must have been some reason that it popped into our head. There must be some substance to it if it came out of nowhere just to pop in our heads. I like to write about that. I like to write about my day dreams and see where that takes me. More times than often, I see myself coming up with very unique topics when utilizing this method. It helps me quiet the mind and focus on what it’s telling me.
Writer’s block occurs when we over think things. We get caught up with the end result before we even start to write. The best writers know how to handle this issue and use the methods I laid out for you above. They know how to turn off the critical part of their mind and simply write. Save the proofreading for later and write whatever comes to your mind now. Hope this helps!