Writer’s block can strike unexpectedly at any time. Suddenly you’re sitting down with your fingers hovering over the keyboard and realising you just don’t know where to start. Be it when writing your business blog, an essay, or even an email.
It may be tempting in this situation to start to procrastinate or turn to the unhelpful ‘I’ll start it tomorrow’ excuse. But sometimes ‘tomorrow’ isn’t a choice and you need to get over the hefty hurdle and build up some serious momentum.
Writer’s block has no doubt been around for as long as writing itself. Various studies into the reasons behind its existence have been done over the years, making potential connections between the struggle of creative blockage and anxiety, stress, unhappiness and even, on a deeper psychological level, occurrence rates of dreaming or tendencies to self-criticise.
Whatever the deeper reason may be, if any, it isn’t possible for us to wake up every day brimming with inspiration and so we might find ourselves faced with feeling utterly stumped.
But fear not, there are ways in which you can oil the cogs and be on the way to beating writer’s block and having that moment of victory as you shut the laptop lid.
Just Get Going
The best way to start is simply to start. Putting off your writing is completely eliminating any chance of progress, and while you may not feel like what you’re about to write will be your best work, putting pen to paper (or finger to key!) is the only way forwards. Once you’re in your groove, you will find yourself motivated and flowing.
Have a Routine
Routine can also help — setting aside the time you will write and perhaps keeping to this structure on a daily basis is the best way to avoid the temptation to refuse to write until you feel inspired.
If you hit the block mid-flow, a change of scenery can help re-stimulate your mind. Take the office dog for a walk, pop to the shops or at least walk away from your desk.
Do Something Different
Your creative space should encourage but not distract you. There are some good techniques you can have a go of on a break to help to refresh your energy, such as exercising, brewing a cup of coffee or reading a couple of chapters of a book.
There is evidence to suggest that music helps concentration, which is interesting when you consider this is giving the brain two different things to focus on at once. I find it difficult to write when I can hear music with lyrics, as my mind is too easily diverted into following the words. It’s proven that human speech and vocalisations are something that our brain pays very close attention to. But evidence suggests that there are certain types of music which stimulate the unconscious mind while the conscious mind focuses on the task at hand. This keeps the unconscious mind entertained with something consistent and decreases the probability of it becoming distracted by an annoying ticking, sniffing, or random noise in your writing space.
Ready. Set. Write
If all else fails, remember that writing itself is the greatest cure. Try writing about absolutely anything off the top of your head, or about a dream you’ve had, letting your words flow freely.
Free writing is a popular technique for many writers, and 15-20 minutes of free writing before beginning your blog or latest case study can be a great way to get your words out and into written form.
When free writing you don’t have to write for your readers, as Charles Bukowski said, ‘writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all’. Writing about the pain that is creative constipation, along with having a go at any of the above, will no doubt have you realising that writer’s block is merely a small speed bump to overcome on your journey to publishing or printing with pride.
Have you ever suffered with writer’s block? If so, what helped you to get over it? Let us know in the box below.
But don’t forget, when you’re seriously stumped or are struggling to keep up with your company’s content writing commitments, be kind to yourself and give us a call. We’ll happily take care of a one-off blog article or all of your content writing on an ongoing basis — we’re only an email away.