By Ellie Tiemens
As the cursor flashes on the blank page, you wonder if you will ever write a word again. The rhythmic blinking seems to be mocking you. “Just write something,” it says.
If you’re a writer in any capacity, it is likely that you recognize this feeling all too well.
By definition this is a condition in which a writer becomes unable to write or think about what to write. But to a writer on a deadline, this means much more.
So, in an effort to save you from the pit of despair that is created from getting writer’s block, here are some top tips to get your flow back!
1. Come back to it later
This may seem counterintuitive to trying to get work done, but there is magic in taking a step back and returning to your writing later. Whether you start working on a different project or just go take a nap, taking a break from your writing can give you a fresh mindset and recharge your creativity.
*Note that taking a break and coming back to it later does not mean you should procrastinate. Rather, take a break with full intentions of returning to your work and being productive.
2. Make a word map
You might remember doing something like this back in middle school when you were learning how to write a research paper. There are a variety of ways to make a word map or a spider diagram, or whatever we’re calling it. But no matter your age, these are extremely helpful for getting your flow back and stimulating your brain.
3. Refuel your writing engine with a good book
One of the most classic pieces of writing advice is to read a lot. So it makes sense that when you’re stuck in a writing slump that you would read your way out of it! Take some time off from writing to read a good book or reread a great book. You’d be surprised at the difference taking some time to relax and enjoy reading will make on your writing.
4. Change your scenery
Sometimes the best cure when you’re blocked is to switch it up. Move your work space outside and get a few breaths of fresh air; find a cute café and set up shop there; move your desk to the other side of your room. Often, all you need is a little change of pace to get your creativity flowing and your brain back on track.
5. Be patient with yourself
This might be one of the most difficult things to do, especially if your inner critic is strong. But remember to be kind to yourself and patient when you aren’t at the top of your game. Chances are there’s a lot going on in your life – including a lot of things that are out of your control – so give yourself grace to work through the writer’s block!