Kylee of consciously-positive.me wants to know:
How do you get out of a creative funk/writer’s block?
Kylee, I’m glad you asked. I have firsthand experience with this problem. Like, a lot of it. Years and years of it.
Even if you’re not a “creative”, we all know this feeling well.
You’re sitting at your computer, trying to get something good to magically come out of your fingers or through your mouse. The hard part is that you can’t force creativity. Some ideas just aren’t meant to be free in the world yet, and that’s where writer’s block comes in.
If you’re going to be a successful writer, whether it’s a blogger, copywriter, novelist — writer’s block can happen.
It’s frustrating, I know — but you’re not alone in this struggle.
Honestly, the best thing you can do is take yourself away from what you’re trying to create and energize yourself.
I usually try to go on a walk but honestly, the best thing is to try to change the scope of what you’re trying to create.
You have writer’s block for a reason. You have to tear down that wall.
How to get rid of writer’s block
- More coffee!!!! Get up for a refill. Right now.
- Read. Read. Read.
- Let go of your expectations of what you think you’re trying to write.
- Don’t stare at the screen, obsessing over “how to start”, and writing the first line. Just start writing. Let the words start flowing.
- If you have know how it’s going to end, or have a single line or dialog, go ahead and write it down. Once you start with the parts that come naturally, the rest will flow. You can edit later.
- If you have anything written, rewrite it.
- Rewrite the last sentence you wrote.
- Create a deadline for yourself. Put it in your calendar.
- Change locations.
- Go to a coffee shop, a library, or a co-working space.
- Talk to someone. Talk to a stranger. Ask someone to tell you a story.
- Change the format or design (i.e. if you’re writing paragraphs, write bullet points).
- Write a summary of your idea for a 5 year old, then for a 25 year old, then for a 75 year old.
- Creativity is a fickle beast… write when you feel inspired, even if it’s at an annoying time like 2am. Don’t ignore the spark.
- Create a quick outline. Jot down a few notes and try to create sections.
- Change mediums. Get out a piece of blank paper and write down the first words that come to mind. Draw lines to connect things that belong together.
- Write down a few words about your idea/topic and how they relate to each other. Try a writing exercise/prompt to get your juices flowing.
and finally, the best way to get rid of writer’s block:
Just fucking write. Write what you feel like writing. Any thought. Write down any words, ideas, characters, how much you hate writing, how hungry you are, where you want to go on vacation, what you did today. The more you open your “creative flow gates”, and write what you’re inspired to write, the easier it will be to beat writer’s block.
Free association is the best way to let things flow. If you feel disorganized, just go with it — write random thoughts — whether or not it’s about your topic. Let it flow for as long as possible. Then get up and walk away from it. When you’ve had some time away from it, sort through and edit your brainstorms.
I know writer’s block is so dang hard to overcome… but some of the best ideas can come after you’ve broken through the barrier of it. If you keep trying every day and still can’t overcome it… it might be time to rethink your topic or find someone else to write it for you. 🙃
Good luck. Now go write!
This article was originally published as Unsolicited Advice.