Every writer goes through writer’s block (or whatever you want to call it). It doesn’t matter whether you’re a blogger, a professional screenwriter or author, or a marketing specialist responsible for delivering great copy … At some point you may lose all motivation for writing. So here are 7 tips to help you start writing even if it’s the LAST thing you’d like to do at the moment!
1) Know yourself
Over the years you surely noticed that some moods or settings spark your creativity. With a little observation and self-awareness, you’ll learn what works for you and what makes it difficult for you to write. Remember that even if you’re in the right place, you’re still susceptible to creativity killers. They’re mostly individual, but here are common ones which always manage to disrupt a writer’s work: TV, the internet, social media or snacking. Observe yourself at work to spot moments when you’re doing something that appears to be beneficial to you, but is in fact making writing more difficult.
2) Take yourself to a creative place
Sometimes it’s enough to change your surroundings to suddenly feel a surge of creativity coming your way. Switching your writing location to a real creative nook is more important than you’d suspect. Once you do that, you can go back to this place over and over again – it will make you feel comfortable and help you to see your work from a new perspective. Test places to see which make you more creative – a silent library or a buzzing café, indoors or outdoors?
3) Hang out with other writers
It’s amazing how people we spend time with tend to change our perspective on many things. Sometimes your lack of motivation for writing can derive from hanging out with the wrong people. When choosing the company of fellow writers, make sure to keep in touch with people who inspire you to write and who are themselves accomplished in the art of writing. Talking about your block with other writers will help you to get past it and start writing with pleasure again.
4) Try writing about a different topic
If you’re stuck writing your book or a piece of copy for your client, it helps to change the topic and style of your writing. Being fed up with what you’re writing is the single most powerful factor to discourage you from the activity – sticking to such a project for a long time can render the idea of writing simply unbearable.
If you’re getting bored with your current task, try to spice up your writing activity by taking on a new project or writing something else for fun – it can be a poem, a short story or even just a description of an imaginary reality. You can even try writing in a different language – it’s really inspiring!
5) Research the blogosphere
Another great strategy to help you get inspired in a matter of seconds is reading the work of bloggers. List 2 or 3 of your favourite blogs and have a close look at them to analyse which posts are most popular and why. Read those posts to determine whether they’ve got anything in common. Note the structure of those posts and their headlines. If you’re a blogger, monitoring your competition is something you should do periodically; if you are any other type of writer, taking note of what’s popular online and why may give you clues as to what your audience is interested in.
6) Create a love list for your work in progress
Whenever you start a project, create a list entitled ‘What I love about this project’. You can first write down ideas you had on your mind when you decided on it – describe what made you think it was great and what you liked about it. Keep the list open and add items to it as you go. You can come back to this list during hard times to remember why you found the project exciting – it works like a reminder of all the good stuff when bad ones cloud your mind.
Most writers find this tip counterintuitive and therefore difficult to follow. Good writing inevitably stops when you begin to consider your work as bad, insufficient or slow. Thinking negatively about your writing never helps you to write faster or better.
Instead, focus on words and sentences themselves – not on your emotional responses. Take a deep breath and just keep going. It’s normal to revise your work, making it more compelling and simply better every time. Just relax and keep on writing.
Writers going through a block period know how difficult it is to get past it and start enjoying their work again. Follow these tips to develop a strategy that will help you to deal with any challenges that arise during your writing career.
BIO: Isabel Wiliams works for BizDB – a UK business directory. She believes in the power of words to transform lives and combines her creative attitude with the passion for writing.