Working through your Writer’s Block

…I’ve been stuck on this shit for a few weeks now (along with the rest of my writing projects, since I decided to start my own small business). My mind is constantly racing with new stories; most times, I find myself writing ideas down and leaving them for far longer than I’d like or expect. Other times, I’ll begin writing and get stuck, so I’ll walk away for a few days and occupy my time with errands or other unrelated activities to give my mind a break, but that isn’t always enough.

I’m in the early stages, and it’s already become an arduous task. I’m OVER IT lol, but it’s something I’ve been working on for almost two years, and it’s either now or never.

Many, unlike me, may not have the luxury of finding inspiration through the Hollyweird characters roaming the streets of west Los Angeles, but if you really pay attention, you’ll see different avenues of inspiration; a random encounter with a stranger can spark an idea. You might even find that tense, awkward exchange in Starbucks between that couple the other day helpful with character dialogue. Always use what you have, even if you can’t immediately picture it.

Here’s some helpful tips for when you’ve hit that brick wall, and need a bit of inspiration:

  1.       Change your environment.  

Get out of your house or workspace, and immerse yourself in an environment that’ll get your creative juices flowing. If that’s the new hipster coffee shop around the corner or the park, make sure it’s a space that’ll relax you and get some ideas circulating. Nothing gets my your creative juices flowing more than people watching. You can even pretend to have conversations with certain people to guide you through the process (or…simply do what I like to call,  ‘ear hustling’ 🙂 ) .

  1.       Switch up your process.

I tend to write things down all the time. I’ll start something, write a few pages, then work on something else — coming back to my previous work a few days later and making changes. If you find your own routine is no longer working, don’t be afraid to switch it up! Switching your process can give you a different perspective on what you’ve been working on, and hopefully get your mind active again.

  1.       Take a break.

Rest is important! Sometimes all you need is a break; have a nap or go get a massage! You can’t force yourself to write every hour of every day. Take some time for yourself, and let your mind and body rest. You’ll come back to your work with a fresh, clear mind.

  1.       Stop planning.

A big part of writing (for me) is raw emotion and spontaneity. Try different writing exercises. For example, do a 30-minute writing prompt where you pick any topic you’d like, or an intense idea you’ve been thinking about, then try to write out as much as possible in that time span. Write whatever comes to mind, even if it doesn’t make sense immediately. Try it first thing in the morning, when your mind is fresh, and see what happens.

  1.       Engage in conversation(s).

We often dismiss kind conversation starters in public because we’re all about living an “unbothered” lifestyle. Use your best judgement to engage some random conversation, and see just how interesting it can get; you never know what you can learn from someone, what you’ll hear, or more importantly, who you’ll meet. I’ve had some of my best conversations with strangers, and the best part is that you’ll probably never see them again (unless you just made a great connection, which is even better)! If you’re a predictable and habitual type of person, you could chat with your fav coffee shop barista you always just recite your order to, or the random coworker you always see on the elevator. You’d be surprised how many interesting stories are lurking in your random daily occurrences.

If these steps don’t exactly work out for you, feel free to tailor them to your needs!

Finding myself stuck and unable to articulate the thoughts and pictures in your head is frustrating, as a writer, because once you put those images into words, it can seem like you’re limiting your vision (because sometimes words just can’t do it justice…yet). Outside of blogging, I haven’t spent as much time as I’d like to on my writing, but I’ve been working on bringing my other creative ideas to fruition in the midst of my writer’s block.

Despite my recent bout with writer’s block, my other ventures helped me finally finish this post and flush out a few other ideas by providing me with a much-needed distraction. Hopefully, you find these tips useful to help you when your writer’s block hits!

Written by: Breanna Simone 

2 comments

  1. Thanks for posting. I have had many bouts with writer’s block. However, stepping away from it for awhile typically helps. Great suggestions.

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