Writers can be divided into two categories purely on their opinion of writer’s block. While most believe that it exists and they have fallen prey to it, there are people who believe writer’s block is just an excuse to not write. Or as Jodi Picoult says, “Writer’s block is for people who have the luxury of time.“
Well, the luxury of time is what we don’t have. So, however genuine the block is, we need to snap out of it soon. But the fact remains that it isn’t so easy to get over the writer’s block and a little help is always appreciated. Here is a list of things I do; they might help you too 🙂
Take a break
Being a full-time freelancer, there are days when I work for 16-17 hours a day. Having worked for such long hours over a few days, there comes a time when the mind refuses to work and the finger just won’t type another word. There is more mental exhaustion than physical. This is a good time to switch the laptop off, disconnect the internet and just walk off.
Get out of home
You’ve been cooped indoors for a long time and since you are not getting any writing done right now, why not step outside? Go for a walk, go for drinks or just go meet friends. Do whatever works for you, but a change of scene usually does help.
Every writer should read – this is a fact that should not be argued. Now that you are not writing for a while, why don’t you use the time to read? Reading also opens the mind and who knows, you will be struck with a thought or revelation which can get you back to writing!
Write something else, something you might want to write at that very moment
Leave the project in hand. If you still wish to write, start with something new. Or, something random. Better still, write your journal. I have written about the writer’s block I was facing and by the end of the page, I was ready to get back to what I was writing originally.
Skip the section, move ahead
Maybe it’s not a writer’s block per se. Maybe you are just facing difficulty in writing one particular section/situation. Skip it and move ahead; you can come back to it later.
Look for inspiration
Creative people find inspirations in the oddest of places. Get up from your chair and just walk around. Read, listen to music, go to the park or watch television. You will never know what that sharp brain of yours will pick and draw inspiration from. And before you know, you’ll be back on your desk, inspired to write more!
Do some research
If your writing involves research, you can turn to that. Indulge in research for things you will need to or plan to write later. This way, you won’t be wasting time (because, remember, we don’t have the luxury of time) and you will be ready to begin your other projects when the time comes.
Change your location
Sitting at the same place, writing on and on can get mundane and boring. Being a full-time freelancer, I have my own corner in the house to write. However, it being a flexi-career, it also allows me the luxury to pick my laptop and move to another room or to the bed, even if for a while. You will be surprised at how well the mind works when there is a change in location.
Of all the tricks mentioned above, ideally trying any one would help. Always does. But in the rarest of rare cases, nothing helps. The deadline looming on your head won’t understand that. So, do the only thing that remains to be done. Force yourself to write and hope you get your zing back at the earliest.
This was first published here.