If you’re a writer, or a student, or anyone who’s ever felt the desire or need to write, you know all about the dreaded thing known as writer’s block. You sit at the computer, or your’re at your desk with a pad and pen, ready to write. But nothing happens. Your mind is drawing a complete blank. You feel as if you’ll never be able to string even five words together into something coherent. It’s a tragic problem and many experience it. The sad thing about this particular monster, is that once it’s bitten, it sinks its teeth in and begins to work its way into your mind. If you don’t defeat it immediately, it can be around for quite some time. You’ll find yourself thinking “why can I write anything?”
There are a few fabulous techniques for slaying this particularly ugly monster:
Just write! Write absolutely anything, even if it doesn’t pertain to what you want to write. It doesn’t matter how bad it is, it’s just important to continue. Even if doesn’t even make sense! Who knows? Somewhere in all of the mess, there might be a few incredible pieces!
Take a walk! If weather permits it, a walk outside just might help you, as something you see might break the wall that’s holding those good ideas hostage.
Remember when you were in kindergarten? That’s right, take a nap! Some of the best ideas come from dreams. And it’s been said that we often dream the solutions to our problems.
Meditation is an easy task, even if you’ve never practiced it before. There are many reliable resources that can teach you how to meditate. Like taking a nap, meditation offers the ability to quiet the mind long enough to find a solution or an idea.
Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! Do some yoga or aerobics, or maybe go to the gym and walk on a treadmill. While you’re at it, observe the other people in the gym. See if that doesn’t jog your brain into giving up those great ideas.
Sometimes, it just helps to talk to another writer. There’s an expression that many authors use – “Only another author would really understand this.” It’s true – it’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t write how sometimes our minds and our muses just don’t want to work with us when it comes to our writing and coming up with great ideas. So, call another writer friend and talk about your writer’s block. Sometimes two heads really are better than one.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a research paper, a love letter, or the next great international bestseller – everyone suffers from writer’s block now and then, even people who don’t consider themselves writers! The important thing to remember, no matter what option or techniques you use, is not to let the writer’s block defeat you. You have to destroy the monster!
Amanda Baker writes for All Things Pondered