On Writing

Hitting writer’s block, and how to deal with it

Some days, words just flow. I can produce a thousand word copy in an hour, and will have plenty of time to review and edit it before my deadline.

Ever been stuck with words? How do you deal with writer’s block? (Image source: Morgue File | Credit to: caprisco)

Today was one of those days that I’ve lost the words, the sentences and pretty much spent three hours formulating a paragraph that I end up deleting in the end.

Writer’s block hit me hard, and decides to choose a day where deadline looms like that teacher who constantly stood behind me checking if I were paying attention.

To be honest, there is no cure for writer’s block. However I do have ways I can deal with it and to encourage my mind to move on.

Here are three ways I deal with writer’s block.

1. Read something. Anything.

I have found reading one of the best ways to help my mind reset. If I were writing a travel feature, then I’ll try to remove myself from that and read up on history, politics or a simple novel.

In the same way that love only comes when you are not looking for it (yes, ok, it’s a far stretch but this analogy does make sense), inspiration can sometimes appear when you are not concentrating on trying to find it.

Although, I also use this reading time to do some publication research for the feature I am writing, if, the reason I got stuck is that I am struggling to conform the article to the style of the publication.

2. Go for a walk – with a notebook.

Just a block from our flat is the river Thames, along it a paved path that lead to Hampton Court on one side, and the historic market town of Kingston upon Thames on the other.

It is my favourite place for a walk, well, because it’s just right outside my door step, but also because the abundant bird life – the swans, the geese, the ducks and the cotes – always prompt new ideas and inspirations that I need for my writing.

And whenever ideas strike, I will immediately write them down in my notebook.

Never waste a good idea whenever you get one I say!

Perhaps you don’t live near a river, but a walk out in the fresh air can help boost the brain juices and unclog that writer’s block.

3. Write something else.

This is the strategy I am taking now. I am writing something else – this blog post – so that I can still keep the words coming from different directions.

An old mentor once told me, keep writing, even if you are out of ideas. Perhaps the right words are stuck behind the wrong words, so get it all out and eventually, the right words will reappear and you can then continue with your original creation.

Here it is. My ways of dealing with writer’s block.

What are yours?

Share your thoughts below!