5 Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block

by Marie Palisky

We?ve all been there. Whether it?s for a school assignment, writing an essay, telling a story, or maybe even something for work, we?ve all dealt with dreaded writer’s block. Put pen to paper (or most likely finger to keyboard nowadays) and?nothing. Our brains go empty, our eyes dart around looking for inspiration, or stare dumbly at the blank notebook (or screen) and yet nothing comes.

This could be brought on by stress, an impending deadline, or just a lack of desire to write, but whatever the reason behind the block, here are a few tips to get the ideas rolling.

1. Look up prompts to get you going

You can find lots of help for creative writing, stories, journaling, you name it! If you need some inspiration, look up prompts to get you in a writing mood and get your creative juices flowing.

2. Write a stream of consciousness

This is my go-to. When I need to write a paper or finish an article I write whatever comes to my mind and just keep going. This means that in a short span of minutes I wind up with many words that need to be cut down, edited, formatted, re-edited, added to, deleted etc. but it give your writing a foundation and something to work off of. It creates a base around which to build more ideas and change things as you see necessary.

3. Eliminate all distractions

Turn off the TV. Put away your phone.

Change up your environment and just be alone with your thoughts.

Distractions are easy to get carried away with, especially if your brain is already looking for a way to get out of doing what it?s supposed to. So, don?t even allow yourself the chance to give into temptation. Get rid of distractions before they start!

4. Go for a walk

Remove yourself from your ?space? for a little bit. Put on some classical or instrumental music to get you relaxed and thinking more clearly. I always find it much harder to write with songs with lyrics playing in the background. Wanting to sign along or getting distracted by the words. And don?t forget to bring along your phone or a pad of paper and write down ideas as they come to you. You can expand on them later but you don?t want to forget those bursts of creativity!

5. Jot down bullet points

As stated previously, it doesn?t hurt to write down just a few simple ideas even if you haven?t developed them fully yet. Starting with bullet points is a great way to begin the writing process and just get a few basic ideas down. We write drafts for a reason.

The best thing to do when you don?t know what to write is just start writing, anything.

It doesn?t have to be good. It doesn?t have to be anything share-worthy. All writing takes editing and building, it?s a process. But overthinking and making up excuses or procrastinating endlessly will get you nowhere. The best way to start is really just to go for it!

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