What a condition. To sit down and be fully prepared for the words to flow just to stare at the screen or paper in front of you and scrape your mind, finding nothing to say. I keep getting questions about how I deal with writer’s block so we are going to explain writer’s block and three major tips on how to combat it, encouraging ideas to come to you and enhancing your writing experience.
A mental backup you’re having trouble with draining. Literary constipation of the brain.
The f*cking struggle.
It’s a common occurrence for experienced writers as well as newbies. We all go through moments of blockage. Now, I won’t say what works for me will work for everyone, but below are three major tips that always do me justice when I need a little push to get the ideas in motion. If you’re looking for ideas on how to deal with writer’s block, you’re in the right place!
1. GO OUTSIDE // L I V E
What are you going to find as you stare at the blank page? Or lie down in a puddle of your frustrations? Or at the bottom of that potato chip bag, besides messy crumby salty goodness that’ll make you feel bad for stress-eating later? Nothing, babe.
If you’re having a hard time with what you’re trying to say and how to say it, leave it alone for a minute.
Go do something. Something that punts the thought of not being able to think right now out of your mind. Something that will make you forget about your frustration and put a smile on your face. Maybe something you always love to do. Or maybe something you’ve never done before.
Anything but sitting there trying to force it — Don’t make me use a constipation analogy to clarify this point any further. Because I will.
I was once working on a potential story where I kinda knew the premise but nothing else was making itself known to me. I didn’t know the characters, where they were, or why they matter. It was like an embryo. An idea chilling in a rudimentary stage in my mind but also making it’s way to my last nerve due to it being present enough for me to realize it but absent enough where I could do nothing with it. I was annoyed with myself for having a decent, partial thought and not knowing how to unfold it.
So I left it alone.
I went about life, went to a concert in L.A., did edibles, and had a scary-ass night and fun-ass weekend I will never forget. The idea instantly began to develop into something I could see and feel and has since become my third book (a whole, healthy, 72k word-novel!).
This is not me saying to go do edibles to find some inspiration and kick your flow into gear. Just get the f*ck out the house so the inspiration can find you.
2. CLEAN UP YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Please place yourself in a setting that is conducive to creating.
Now some of you may believe there is no possible way for you to escape dysfunction and retreat to a place of peace and solitude to focus. I once thought the same thing. But baby, there is always a way to revise your surroundings and you don’t always have to spend $5 on coffee to do it.
Pack a bag with your laptop/notebook and pen, snacks, water, wine, liquor, etc. all the necessities and go to a park. Or go to the beach. Go to a library if you need to. Make the world your zone, it will work for you if you truly desire to work for yourself.
Or if you can’t get away, find a way to set boundaries in the space you have. Put earphones in, have a discussion with anyone making matters difficult (if they keep being difficult, fight them. jk jk), lock a door, go in the bathroom and tell anyone who knocks that you’re forcing your way through constipation (they don’t need to know what kind), whatever you can do to transform the only space you have into the space you need please do it. If you need some ideas on how to do this, check out this post I wrote titled Why You Should Have a Creative Space.
It’s hard to write freely when you’re aggravated, distracted, interrupted constantly, dulled by the scenery around you. Watch how an improvement in your views can improve your perspective and, therefore, your ability to write. Just know it’s imperative for you to get out of and/or change the negative environment. I’ve personally experienced how everything you need to fulfill your purpose and be the you that you are meant to be, dies there.
Related Posts: Why You Should Have a Creative Space
3. JUST START W R I T I N G
F*ck the story (for now). F*ck the storyline that won’t come to you, f*ck the characters that won’t introduce themselves to you, f*ck finding the “appropriate” flow of the poem or song or whatever.
Just start writing without them. Write what you feel and know so far. Start from the middle, beginning, or the end. Write what you believe and what has yet to be seen. Just put fingers to keyboard or pen to pad or pencil to paper, whatever to whatever. Just start doing it and more often than not, your brain will say “Oh, this is what you were trying to do… why didn’t you just say that?” and the magic will happen. You just have to be patient and open up and it will naturally ease out of you. For more insight on finding inspiration, check out this post titled Inspiration: Defined and Where I Find It.
Do you have more amazing thoughts on how to deal with writer’s block? How do you combat the frustration and get the ideas flowing again? Feel free to share! We could all use a strong arsenal of tools to keep us going when we find ourselves struggling. xo