In case you didn’t know, today is National Writing Day. And what better day to talk about how to deal with the biggest writing struggle of all—writers block.
All writers understand what it feels like to be at a loss for words. Whether you’re a freelancer, a blogger, or a fiction storyteller, writers block is incredibly real and beyond frustrating. No matter how disciplined, talented, or creative you are, it can sneak up on you and leave you feeling hopeless and stuck.
Of course, as writers, we’re always on the hunt for that elusive writer’s cure, a way to make the creativity come bursting through once more.
With that in mind, here are some of the best tips for getting past your writers block.
Related Read: 15 Things No One Ever Told Me About Being a Writer
Best Writers Block Tips
Alright, I might have misled you when I used the word “cure.” The truth is, there’s really no way to cure writers block. The best we can hope for is tips and tricks to deal with it when it comes.
Every writer has a different strategy for breaking the block, but in general, the strategies fall into two specific categories: taking a break from writing or pushing past your blockage. Both can be beneficial depending on what works for you.
Take a Writers Break
For some people, it’s always more helpful to take a break. But for others, taking a break is only necessary when you’re feeling overly stressed or burnt out. Regardless, if you feel you need to step away from the keyboard for a minute, here are some strategies to try:
1. Complete Menial Chores
Sometimes, if you’ve got a lot on your plate, the idea of writing can feel overwhelming. Like another thing on your never-ending to-do list.
So, when writers block hits, try doing one of your other chores instead, preferably, something menial that doesn’t take much thought or energy. Do the laundry, clean your home, or sort through your mail.
Taking something off your to-do list can help make you feel productive and less anxious, which in turn might fuel some creative energy.
2. Get Some Exercise
Another good way to get your creative juices flowing is to move your body.
It doesn’t have to be a heavy or intense workout either. Something simple, like taking a walk around the block or doing some light stretching is fine.
3. Do Something Creative
I’ll clarify, something creative that doesn’t involve writing. Do a puzzle, build with Legos, or work on an art project.
Coloring is a great activity — it’s stress-relieving, easy to do, and can help free your creative thoughts.
4. Read, Watch, Listen
Again, this one should be clarified to be non-writing related. Meaning, if you’re going to read, don’t read an article about freelance writing. Don’t read a book in the same genre as the one you’re writing in the hopes of being inspired. Similarly, don’t listen to a podcast on creative writing or journalism.
Instead, do something for entertainment purposes only. Read a book just to read it. Watch a movie or TV show that you love. Listen to music. Don’t worry about wasting time, look at it as a productive way to de-stress.
5. Just Be Bored
On the other side of the spectrum, rather than trying to force yourself to feel entertained or productive, allow yourself to be bored.
As in, bored bored. Doing nothing bored. Watching paint dry bored.
Studies have shown that boredom is good for your brain, specifically the part that encourages creativity.
So, turn off your social media, your phone, your computer, and do absolutely nothing for 20-30 minutes. See if that sparks something in you.
Get a Writers Boost
Now, if you’re the type of person who wants to fight fire with fire, taking a break can feel counterproductive. In that case, you might want to push through your writers block instead and force yourself to write.
For that, here are some writing-specific suggestions to try.
1. Change Your Scenery
Most writers tend to be creatures of habit. You probably write in the same place every day (I know I do!) Changing where you do your writing can help prompt your creativity.
Try taking your laptop outside or to a nearby coffee shop and do your writing there.
If that’s not feasible, you can also just change your typical writing environment. Literally, something as small as changing the chair you use, the room you write in, or even the direction you face can be beneficial.
2. Write Something New
Along with the where, you can also try changing the what of your writing.
If you’re writing a novel, maybe skip to a different scene or chapter if you get stuck. Or, write a detailed passage about something related to your novel. Such as, what a character looks like, their house, or a certain place they frequent.
Alternatively, take a break from your current writing and write something else entirely. A journal entry, a poem, a short blog post.
3. Do Some Editing
Editing is a great way to improve your own writing. But rather than edit something you’ve written, edit something else entirely.
If you have a friend or writing buddy (or if you’re part of a writing group) you can offer to read their latest work and give feedback.
4. Use a Prompt
Writing prompts can be really helpful when you’re feeling stuck. If you’re a blogger, check out this list of 100 blog post ideas.
Or, here’s a fun creative writing prompt to use. Choose a random color and write about it. It could be a memory, place, object, or emotion you associate with the color. Or, just write about how the color makes you feel.
It’s important to pick a random color though. Either use an online generator, or roll a dice and use the color that corresponds with the number:
5. Write Someone Else’s Words
This is one of the most unique tips for breaking past a writing block I’ve ever heard, and one I personally love.
Take a book, short story, or poem that you really love. Now, type the words out. Word for word.
By writing something you already know you love, you’re literally giving yourself the feeling of being a great writer.
Yes, it’s someone else’s words. But that doesn’t matter. Soon enough, you’ll get into a rhythm that will get your own creativity flowing.