A student asked about writer’s block. I’m tempted to say that there’s no such thing, but writers do burn out. If that happens, you’ll eventually get back on track, much wiser for the experience.
Let’s assume that your block isn’t burnout. You’ve simply lost your writer’s mojo. Here are five ways to get it back.
1. Get Input: Learn Something, or Do Something
You write, write, write… and then you stop. You have nothing to say. This happens to bloggers. It’s easy to feel that you’ve said all you have to say on a subject. You just don’t want to think about the topic again.
You need input. Learn something new. It doesn’t matter much what that something is. Anything you’re learning will kick your brain cells awake.
If you’re writing fiction, at some stage (for me it’s page 100), you’ll hit the wall. You decide your plot is ridiculous, your characters are worthless cardboard and you’d rather be dead. Break out the champagne, and have a few celebratory sips. When you hit the wall, salvation is on the other side of it. Take three days off. Refuse to think about your fiction.
Take yourself off somewhere on a short break. You’ll come back revitalized. Your subconscious works hard. It will deliver a solution, and your block will be just a memory.
2. Describe Your Pen
You don’t want to write, so you don’t. Grab a pen, or a pencil, and study it. Then describe it, in as much detail as you can. What material is it made of? Color? When did you buy it? Keep writing.
I’ve no idea why this simple description process breaks through blocks, but it does. It’s probably because after a few minutes of battering your brain about a stupid pen, any other topic sounds good to you.
3. Write a Letter (You Don’t Need to Send It)
Occasionally you’re blocked because of what you’re not saying. If you’re annoyed at someone or something, write a letter. Release your anger, or fear, or whatever it is. The letter’s just for you. Delete the computer file, or rip up the paper when you’re done.
4. Start Something New
You have things you need to write: sales material, your blog, emails… All these “musts” can dry up your creativity. Start something new. It doesn’t matter what it is.
5. Rewrite Something Old
If you’re stuck on a project, and can’t face it, here’s how to get going on it again. Rewrite it — that is, retype it.
I started writing back in the days of typewriters. I’m a horrible typist, so my typescripts always looked ridiculous, with smudges of Tipp-Ex all over the paper. I needed to retype pages often. Here’s the thing. Once you start retyping, your brain gets into the act. You’ll find yourself rewriting, and getting interested in the material. Then, just like magic, you’re writing again, and your block is gone.
Try these methods of breaking through your writer’s block. One will work for you, and you’ll be happily writing again.
If writing is challenging…
The Easy-Write Process will help. Write anytime, about anything. You’ll become a confident writer.
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