Writer’s block is something that every writer deals with at one point or another.
So what do you do when the words won’t come? When you’re staring at the blank page and your mind is empty? You fear that you’ll never write another word. You realize that you have a new companion, writer’s block. But don’t worry, it’s not the end and you don’t need to throw in the towel. I have been where you are many times. I have written three books and found myself stuck, not sure I would ever write another word or even know what words are. That is, until I figured out how to beat writer’s block by filling my creative well and remembering that not writing is still writing.
Writing is the act of something leaving you and taking up space on the page. I have found that writer’s block has creeped up on me when my inner well is dried up and without any inspiration. So what’s the solution? How can you show writer’s block to the door?
Well, there are three things you could try.
- Just keep writing. Write anything. Write in your journal. Go somewhere and write what you see. Write what you feel. You might delete all of the words because they’re terrible and unpolished but write them anyway. Write down what happened during your day. All of these things can help to flex your writing muscles. It’s okay to not add to your word count for a while but don’t let yourself get too rusty.
But what if you just can’t write another word? What if the idea of writing even just one sentence about what happened that day makes you want to hurl your computer into the trash?
- If you find yourself feeling this way, try solution #2 to beating writer’s block = focus on filling up your well. Try to pick up a new hobby, something you’ve never done before. I have found that painting helps me to refocus myself and find inspiration in a different way, even if they turn out terrible. Try to knit, or work on baking a delicious treat. There are countless other things you could do to fill your well but some great places to start would be to take a walk around your neighborhood. A change of scenery can be so refreshing when you’ve been slaving over a project for weeks or months. We’ve been walking around our neighborhood since the pandemic started, so we’ve been exploring nearby parks and paths. Another thing that can be helpful to pull yourself out of the world and scare away writer’s block is to read a book. It will help to get you out of your own head and is a great way to help refill that creative well. Reading can help you remember why you love writing and why you are telling a story that you want others to read.
There’s one last thing I want to share with you to help you beat writer’s block.
Number three is to remember if you’re struggling with writer’s block is that not writing is still writing. I know that sounds a little strange, but just hear me out. Taking care of yourself is a crucial part of the writing process. Just like everything else, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of anything else. Let alone accomplish the task of crafting a story. Doing what you need to fill your creative well is important. It’s hard to create something including the incredible worlds, mysteries and backstories needed for a novel when you’re running on empty. So if you find yourself stuck and need to not write for a day, or two or twelve. It’s okay. Take the time to refuel your batteries and refill your well.
If you’ve taken the time to do these three things to beat writer’s block, you’ve filled up your well until it’s overflowing and tried a new hobby, you might start to feel that fog of writer’s block lifting. You’ve taken several walks, read a book that has been sitting on your shelf for months and just as you lay down to sleep, a spark of inspiration comes to you. You finally feel like you’re ready to write, to continue on the long journey of writing. You’ve done it! You beat writer’s block and you can get back to work.
Remember how to beat writer’s block next time it hits you, because it will.
Remember the three things you can do to get that block out of your head.
Make sure you’re continually doing things to fill your well and remember that it’s okay to not write, you’re still a writer.
Don’t let writers block be the end of you.