If you're a writer, you'll know the familiar feeling of writers block. The feeling when your brain just won't cooperate and the words you know are in there refuse to come out. Like a wall is blocking them from making their way to the page. It is one of the most frustrating feelings. And so, in honour of Charles Dickens' birthday, I have decided to share my advice on how to conquer writers block.
· Eliminate your distractions - use a distraction free writing programme. I've found that this helps me focus on what I'm doing and I don't end up scrolling through my old stuff.
· Change your environment - clean or reorganise your desk.
· Listen to music - nothing too hardcore otherwise it will distract you.
· Drink something warm! - get a giant mug of coffee, hot chocolate or your favourite tea and relax.
· Do something that gets your blood flowing - for example, running or dancing.
· Free Write - write whatever comes to mind, no matter what it is. Try to aim for five minutes. If this doesn't work, aim for ten minutes the next time. I haven't found this as useful personally but I do know people who benefit from this.
· Brainstorm ideas.
· Re-read your favourite book (or finally read one of the ones you've been meaning to) for inspiration.
· Stop wallowing in self pity! - if you're caught up in the fact that you can't write then you'll be too distracted to focus.
· Stop procrastinating - trust me, I'm guilty of this but you won't overcome writers block if you don't write.
· Don't worry about being perfect - just write. You can edit any mistakes later.
· Take a break - if you just cant write right now, try again later. There is no pressure for you to write (unless it's for a class, of course).
· Go people watching - go to your favourite cafe or park and just sit down with a notebook. Pay attention to those around you. Give them backstories and imagine what their lives are like.
· Start somewhere else - the beginning of a book (or article, or essay) is always the hardest to write. Start in the middle and see where you go from there.
So, there are some of my best tips on how to overcome writers block. And I wish you good luck with whatever you're writing!
Stay writing, Riley
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The articles here are written by guest writers or previous TWE members.