April 14, 2011

Beating Writers Block

Writers block can happen for many reasons including, lack of confidence, anxiety, lack of motivation, frustration or procrastination.

What can we do to beat writers block?

Try some of the following ideas to make room for more productive writing.

* Turn off the t.v. Watching television can suck up so many hours and dominate our lives without us even realising.

*Give yourself some time off from writing. It may be just what you need for now.

*Organise your writing environment and put everything in its place. Blank paper, an ideas file, and trays for submissions you've sent.

*Keep track of how you spend your time. If it seems as if you never have time to write then look at what you do have time for. What might seem like writer's block can actually be a case of procrastination.

*Exercise. Let's get physical and exercise our bodies as well as our minds. Take a yoga class, go for a run or walk in the park, dance around in your lounge room, or get your hands dirty in the garden.

*Relax and breathe through your nose, not your mouth. Listen to soft music, mediate, or listen to the sounds around you. Cut out all the noise and distractions in your life and let the everyday chit and chatter float away.

*Acknowledge how far you've come as a writer and never apologise for being an aspiring writer or being an unpublished writer. Every professional writer was once an amateur, aspiring, unpublished writer so never apologise.

*Keep negative thoughts and negative people at bay. Have you noticed how some people are only too happy to tell you that it's too hard to get published and that you can't make a living as a writer? The best reply is, 'Yes, I know it can be tough but I enjoy writing and I'm determined to keep doing it.'

*Try a change of scenery. Grab your note book and pen and write some where different. On a mountain top, in a park, the beach, or a coffee shop.

*Switch writing on your computer to writing with a pencil or pen or vice versa. It's not for everyone but it might be just what your writing needs.

*Check out what resources you have in your community. Libraries, community centres, parks, museums, galleries, playgrounds, any place that offers time for you to reflect and write so you're not always isolated.

*Master your craft. Chances are that you have strengths and weaknesses in the different aspects of writing, such as, vocabulary, grammar, plotting, characterisation, dialogue. There's always room for improvement so give yourself some writing exercises to challenge and strengthen your writing skills.

*Look at things from a different perspective. Lie on the grass, look out the window, step to the left or right. Sometimes it takes a change of perspective to inspire your writing.


Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Great post! All really good advice! I sometimes get writer's block from having too many ideas and not being able to decide what to work on. Walking is one of my favorite ways to jar ideas loose. I also find that, as soon as I'm in the shower with nothing to write on, I suddenly have ideas :)

Unknown said...

Thanks Susanna. I agree stepping away from the physical constraints of writing can open up a world of ideas. I've solved writing dilemmas whilst washing up, driving, walking the dogs, in the shower, and watching the kids. They're all separate activities lol. Now, where did I leave that little piece of paper?