Every now and then, with writing, you’re going to hit a wall. People have many different names for this, sometimes it lasts only moments and sometimes it lasts months, but it is known to many as ‘writer’s block’. It’s whispered in the halls of conference centres across the world, and mumbled in telephone conversations. Nobody particularly wants to have block, so how to you overcome it?
It’s all to easy to work yourself up into some kind of hysteria that mainly manifests itself as staring silently outside of the window as your neighbours stare up at you in horror because it’s 3pm on a Saturday and you’re still in your PJs and more to the point you’re not wearing the bottom half of them. Just relax a little. Understand that it’s possible to exhaust yourself and maybe you just need rest and clothing in public. Let your mind recover.
Spend some time thinking
Sometimes you come across a wall because you’ve been ignoring a problem for too long. Deep within yourself you know what’s wrong but you just need to spend a few days mulling things over before you can accept that you need to rewrite five whole chapters that you only just penned. That’s okay. Don’t pressure yourself too hard. Work on that acceptance.
Write every word you know
Okay I know it sounds a little absurd but try free writing for a while. Try writing just for nobody but you in a stream of consciousness. It’s hard to be constantly on all of the time. Sometimes things get mixed up in your head and you need to write your way out of the hole.
Ask your friends for help
I think it’s almost impossible to write a book in isolation and there’s no need to try it in this day and age! Make friends on the internet if you’re worried you don’t have enough. Writing buddies are the best online and they can also help you through the hard times. They’ve been there. They know how terrible it is when you think the words might have completely dried up for good. They’ll offer you support, advice, and lovely gifs to help you through this hard time. They’ve probably been through writer’s block too.
Clearing your mind and relaxing aren’t super easy all of the time but there are tricks you can use to get you through. Try changing location. It could be as simple as moving from the desk to the floor, or from the bedroom to the kitchen, or it might take a little further to really help. Try writing in the library. Try again in a garden (if it’s not blizzard-ing). Don’t be afraid to try a million places and then a thousand Moreno before you find what works for you now. New places can be cues in our minds for new ways of thinking or new tasks. It might be enough to push your mind to refocus.
Do you have any tips for overcoming writer’s block?