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If you are a writer by profession, like me, then it would probably be safe to say that you have gone through hours, even days, of not being able to write even when you know you need to. Deadlines looming ahead, and yet, your brain won’t let you pen one cohesive sentence or paragraph. This, my friends, is writer’s block.
There have been people who have contended that writer’s block does not exist. They say that this particular problem with a person not being able to write is merely an excuse for laziness or to procrastinate. A lot they know. Those who say this are probably not people who earn a living by writing every day.
Saying that writer’s block does not exist is just like saying a basketball player will never have an off day, or your hair will always be perfect every single day of your life and bad hair days do not exist. Much like everything in this world, there will always be days when you won’t be able to do what you are supposedly good at. Athletes suffer slumps, businesses go through slow days, and writers suffer from writer’s block.
Anyway, to get back on track, let us tackle some of the things you can do to help you get rid of this huge detriment to your livelihood. While you can’t get rid of an athlete’s slump right then and there, and you cannot turn a business around in a snap of your fingers, you can actually try to get your creative juices flowing within the day, if you are lucky. All you need to do is to find a way to relax, get some inspiration and get the brain to cooperate. Here are some of the things that have worked for me in the past:
- Take a walk – at times, when I feel that I have been holed up for far too long, and the brain won’t let me type one more cohesive sentence to save my life, I would simply get up and take a walk. I’d take a walk around the house, around the block, and if that does not work, I go to the mall and take a walk there (yes, working from home lets me do that whenever necessary). A change in scenery usually refreshes my mind and gives me enough creative juice to get things done when I get back.
- Read a book – I know this may sound weird to some, but reading a book actually relaxes the mind enough to get it to start working creatively again. Sometimes, reading a book gives me ideas that I would normally be struggling to get for whatever it is I am writing. Choose a book that you enjoy reading (a new one, an old favorite, anything that lets you clear your mind of work), flip a few pages and when you feel that your brain is refreshed enough to continue with work, get back to it and you will be finished with whatever it is you want to write in no time at all.
- Play a game – I was told in the past by one of my editors that if you have deadlines looming, playing computer games and online games will only eat up your time and distract you from doing what you need to do. That is true, if you play MMOs and other similar games that take a lot of time for you to level up and such. However I have found that playing puzzle games when my brain is not letting me write (Candy Crush anyone?) helps me get the old brain back in line to finish writing stuff that have deadlines bearing down on me. The trick is to find a game that has limited lives that will not let you stay on the game for too long.
- Sleep – what better way to relax than to hit the sack? Taking a quick nap usually helps restart and refresh the brain enough to help you get things written and submitted. I usually take a power nap when I find that I can’t finish what I started writing and this usually consists of me drinking a cup of strong coffee and snoozing for 30 minutes. When I wake up after my alarm goes off, I find myself recharged and ready to go at it.
These are just a few of the things that I use to help get me back on track when writer’s block (or writer’s blank) hits me. How about you? What tricks and strategies do you employ to get your creative juices flowing and your keyboard keys ticking again?