How to Overcome Writer’s Block

by Nadja Linke

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You stare back and forth between your screen and the clock, but the words simply won’t come to you. Time is ticking and the pressure grows. You look to your left and right for inspiration. Anything, that will help you to fill those blank pages. You wrack your brain to come up with ideas but there is just a big blank void. So, you start feeling anxious and stressed. Stress eventually turns into frustration and frustration turns into anger. You keep asking yourself why you can’t just start to write something. Anything, at this point.

If you have ever found yourself in this type of situation, you have suffered from writer’s block – “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.”

Writer’s block is often triggered by an approaching deadline, poor time management and the urge to perfection. But fear not, it has happened to many people before. Authors, scriptwriters, bloggers and students, they all got to a point, when the words stopped flowing, no matter how hard they tried. With the deadline breathing down their necks, people push themselves even harder, but here’s the thing with creativity; the harder you push for it, the less likely it will find you.

Now, this is all fair and good you might think, but how do I overcome it?
Don’t stress. Here are 3 helpful steps to keep the words flowing again.

Step 1: Distract your brain

You have already established for the past hours that you did not get anywhere from sitting at your desk. So, stop what you’re doing, take out a timer, set it to 15 minutes and do something you love. Go watch videos on Youtube, call a friend or take a nap. It can be anything, as long as it takes your mind off writing for a short period of time. Now, I know this is easier said than done when you have to meet a deadline, but obviously staring holes into the wall doesn’t get you any closer to finishing your assignment. So, why not use your time to distract your brain for a limited (!) time to think about something else? You will see it works wonders!

Step 2: Hit the road

If your brain is still not cooperating, it is time to take things to the next level… Get your jacket, your keys and leave your apartment. Take a nice stroll around your neighbourhood and watch people going on about their lives. While you’re walking around, take big long breaths to fuel your brain with oxygen. You will see, moving around in combination with the fresh air will stimulate your brain. Plus, it’s always fun and a good source of inspiration to watch other people doing their thing.

Step 3: Let’s get technical

For all of you, who can’t get themselves to leave their desk, let alone to stop their brain from thinking about writing, try this technique. Instead of focusing on whatever topic you have to write about, pick a different one and start hitting those keys. There are no limits on choosing your topic. From gushing over your favourite singer to writing a letter to a friend to thank them for their support, or just to capture your last happy memory. You will notice, all the positive thoughts running through your head will not only lift your mood and minimize your frustration, but also slowly bring back your creativity. As soon as you find yourself in this happy workflow, switch to your original task. By then, your mind will still be in a happy place, so you can now start your assignment with a positive mindset and a whole world of new ideas.

You’re welcome 😊