Four Ways to Get over Writer’s Block

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Published on November 12, 2018, at 8:46 p.m.
by Gillian Castro.

Writer’s block. A concept that makes communications students and professionals cringe. It’s a common problem everyone will experience at least once in their career, but luckily there are a slew of easy solutions to get over this dreaded brain block.

Demolish distractions
In a world where technology is a key aspect of our everyday lives, it can be hard to know when it is time to tune out your electronics and tune in to your writing. Although it may sound as simple as turning off the TV and your phone, or putting away your computer, most of us do not write by hand, which makes the latter half of that task a hard one to accomplish. So how can you avoid simple technological distractions while in a writing time crunch? One helpful tool, oddly enough, comes in the form of an online application.

OmmWriter is an online writing application designed to give you a calm and distraction-free writing environment. To achieve this goal, OmmWriter’s greatest feature is its lack of features. With only a simple background image and calming music to match, OmmWriter helps its users achieve serenity in order to minimize distractions and maximize creativity.

Take a break
Sitting at your computer while staring at a blank screen when you have a deadline can seem extremely daunting. It may feel like you just have to commit to getting over the writer’s block by toughing it out. You may be thinking that somehow, if you continue staring into the barren abyss that is your empty Word document, inspiration will strike eventually, right? Wrong.

Photo by Jacob Postuma on Unsplash

Taking a break from staring at the vast nothingness that represents your current state of mind can be one of the best ways to spark creativity. One scientifically proven way to do this is through exercise. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are what relieves pain, promotes happiness and also reduces stress.

We all know that an impending deadline can be stressful when no ideas are on your horizon. That stress can lead to a myriad of other complications affecting writing ability, such as fatigue and lack of concentration. Exercise and the production of endorphins have been shown to reduce this stress and improve overall cognitive function. So the next time you’re feeling blocked, put down the pen and pick up your running shoes.

Get inspired
In public relations and many other communication professions, working with a team is inevitable. Teamwork helps to inspire ideas by using others as a sounding board. This is beneficial when you have 60 percent of an idea in your head and you need someone to fill in the remaining pieces. When you’re feeling blocked, talking your ideas out with someone can help give you the inspiration you need.

If you don’t have someone to act as a sounding board for your ideas, or if you simply don’t have ideas to talk out, try reading work from others. Whether it is an article or blog relating to the topic you are writing about, or just an excerpt from your favorite book, reading the outcomes of others’ inspirations is a sure way to inspire your own thoughts.

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

Free write
When in doubt, write it out. Sometimes the best way to get over writer’s block is to just put pen to paper, or more likely hand to keyboard, and just start writing. It can be about anything or it can be about nothing; that is the beauty of free writing. Start with a word, any word, and keep writing until something sticks.

In an article by The Writing Cooperative, writer Callum Sharp noted, “Free writing is like getting into a car and just driving. There’s no destination to reach or goal to achieve, it’s all in the process, and process is everything. Even bad writing is educational. It teaches you the art of patience and the act of thinking clearly and deeply. Free writing, then, is to the mind what yoga is to the body.”

So the next time you are stuck on the seemingly never-ending road that is writer’s block, just start writing because you never know how or when inspiration will strike. Just take this blog, for example; my free writing started with the word “breakfast.”

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