If you haven’t experienced writer’s block in your entire life, you are (and please forgive me if I’m wrong) an alien from Jupiter. If you’re a writer—whether ‘writer’ refers to being a freelance writer, a blogger, or a rockstar who dabbles in sensual lyrics—there is absolutely no way you’ve felt inspired every single time you tell yourself it’s time to write.
On Thursday, I plan to send in the manuscript of my first novel to a publisher. Not only is this is scary, but so far, the goal has seemed unrealistic, for the word count objective looms over me like a particularly pubescent giraffe. Some days, I feel like I have absolutely nothing to write. And some days, it’s kind of fair to say I actually don’t. Writer’s block is a filthy beast, and I’m not going to say I can tame it.
However, us writers must stick together. In this post, I plan to tell you about the things I’ve done in times that I’ve successfully conquered writer’s block, and in turn, if you have any further suggestions, please add them in the comments below.
You can’t be a writer without being a reader. Reading before you write is almost comparable to searching through cookbooks before you cook; it inspires and stimulates you. Reread your favourite book, pick up a new one from the library, read the newspaper, flick through a magazine, read the manual to your toaster, or even flick through SALT&STATUS and see if anything tickles your fancy (hint, hint). Not only will it spark your imagination, but reading something by your favourite author may inspire you to work towards being like them. And how do you do that? By writing.
2. FIND A COMFORTABLE SPOT TO WRITE
If you’re sitting in a straitjacket on top of some quicksand, chances are you can’t write. Chances are you can’t do a lot of other things either, but that’s besides the point. Find a spot where you feel comfortable and your posture is looked after. Personally, I love having sunlight coming through, but if darkness invigorates, be my moody, mysterious guest. If you’re the sort of person who likes music, play some tunes. If you like silence, push all pets and young children into a room and lock them up … well, not really, but you get what I mean. Maybe even make a snack to have nearby, as long as it’s not something you have to concentrate on eating like pomegranates? How do you eat pomegranates? Anyway, your mindset will reflect on your sanctuary, so only write where you are comfortable.
3. PLAY A WRITING GAME
What do I mean by a ‘writing game’? Basically, play some sort of fun little exercise to allow your creativity to go wild. For example, I like to go to this list of random words generator. I choose five words to be generated, and with the list, I try and make a short story using all those words. Or, try writing a quirky poem based on a colour—you’ll be surprised at what you come up with.
4. PUT ON A TIMER
Set a timer for 25 minutes, and see how many words you can write in this time. Having a sort of challenge within yourself means you’re more likely to want to write as much as possible. Each day, try and beat your last personal best.
5. CHANGE UP YOUR WRITING STYLE
When I mean style, I mean literally the style of the text itself. Change the font, make the writing bigger, whatever works for you. Perhaps this will allow you to feel as if you’re working on a new project altogether. I know it sounds SUPER WEIRD, but when I put my writing into italics, I think about it being a direct quote from a fan or something, and I consequently work hard to ensure every word sounds perfect.
“I’m reading this post because I can’t write, don’t you get that?” you say. I do, but that’s the key: even if you can’t write well, write something. Even if what you write isn’t relevant to anything ever, write something. Even if you don’t write much, write something. Perhaps something in there will be good, and even if isn’t, you’ll feel more used to tapping away on the keyboard for that session.
There you go: how to conquer writer’s block. If it doesn’t help, I apologise, and if does, you’re welcome. It worked for me anyway. You know what? Writing this blog post has inspired me to finish that novel by Thursday, so thank you! ★