We’ve all heard of writer’s block – when you absolutely, no matter what you do, cannot put pen to paper (or fingers to keys!). In those moments it’s difficult to know what to do. For some people it helps to move on to another project, get a cup of coffee, work out, or run an errand and come back to it when your brain is clearer. Other people find that they can break through their writer’s block by brainstorming or simply writing whatever comes to mind.
Often times we get so focused on the task at hand that we need to just step back, take a break, and look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. There are obvious times when you have to put something together on a whim and force yourself into the “write” mindset, but if you can avoid it, try not to force it; your content will be of much higher quality.
3 steps to get into the “write” mindset
As a writer, I am no stranger to writer’s block. Luckily, I have never had an episode that lasted more than a day or two, but it is sometimes challenging to come up with new, creative content that will engage my audience. So, here are a few things I do to get past the block and into the “write” mindset:
1. Gimme a break – Get a Kit-Kat, get some coffee, walk around the office, or just work on something different. Sometimes when we think too hard or long on something, we get blocked. Clear your mind and come back to it.
2. Change your scenery – This is especially easy if you work from home or in a big building, but it’s doable (and helpful) anywhere. Take your work to the cafeteria or Starbucks, sit outside, or move to a different office or room. For me, a change of scenery is like a breathe of fresh air and inspires more creativity.
3. Exercise – Whether it’s a walk around the block or a short jog on the treadmill, exercise is good for the body and the mind. In just one workout session, your body produces increased levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are all known to “soothe” the brain. For optimal results it is suggested that you workout 30 minutes a day at least 3 times a week, however, even just one 30-minute session will boost your brainpower.
Advice from some of the greatest writers of all time
Maya Angelou –“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’”
Mark Twain – “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
Ernest Hemingway – “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.”
When writer’s block hits you, don’t be too hard on yourself; even the best writers get blocked. Try these three methods and find what works for you. Happy writing!
Stay tuned in for more blogs, articles, and updates from Castelazo Content by following us on social media. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the ‘write’ mindset below.