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Writer’s block. Every writer struggles with it. It always strikes at the worst possible moment and can seem impossible to overcome.

The best solution, in my experience, is just to write. And write. And write. Regardless of if it turns out to be something really interesting or something really boring and awful. Starting is the hurdle, you can always edit once you’ve got some words on paper. (Or screen, these days.)

Nearly all writers face this at some stage. Here’s a few ideas and exercises that might help you work through it.

  • Don’t stop before you start. You might have a dozen of ideas, but you’re hung up on getting them down perfectly. In this situation, the most effective exercise is to just jot them down. Make a list, cross things out, scribble things down as a stream of consciousness. As you loosen up, the words will start to flow.
  • Too many ideas, too little time. Often, the ideas that come to you in the initial few minutes will form the backbone of the final outcome. However, don’t discard other great ideas that may come up but just don’t fit for today. Keep track of these and whip them out to make future writing much easier, quicker and more palatable.
  • Approach it from a different angle. There will be occasions when you feel stuck right in the middle of something. You need to do something to get to the story moving again. Try to explain it aloud using different words, or consider alternative arguments.
  • Take a break, but remain productive. Some writers feel blocked or bored if they continue to work on the same project for too long. Switching back and forth between one project and another prevents boredom and writer’s block.
Totally stuck? Walk away (set a time a limit if you’re on a deadline!) and try something to take your mind off it all:
  • Read a book or article
  • Change your environment
  • Get some fresh air and head for a walk
  • Freewriting/stream of consciousness writing
  • Make yourself a drink, maybe some coffee or tea
  • Brainstorming and mind mapping – doodling ideas visually
  • Listen to music – instrumentals and soundtracks can be perfect background noise while writing
Writer’s block can seem insurmountable, but the important thing to do is to power through and just get some words on the page. Once you’ve got something to work with, you can come back and refine as much as you need. Getting started can be the hardest part, so just write, write, write!
How do you overcome writer’s block?   At the end of the day, everyone has their own style – Think of what helps YOU decompress and feel inspired.

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