Voice is important because your writing should have as much personality as you do. What happens then, if this voice no longer has anything to say? If you’ve ever experienced writer’s block, you’ll know it’s no laughing matter. It can hinder your writing for days, weeks, or even months. While it’s easy to sit and wait for the problem to go away, writer’s block is one of those viruses that require effective medication.
In this blog, I want to help you naturally find your way out of being stuck. By the end of this post, you’ll know how to find the inspiration you need to help refresh your writing.
If it’s on the list, it’s because these are the things I’ve tried that have worked for me, so let’s get you unstuck.
Accept that you have what we call writer’s blog and ease your brain. Once you accept the situation, you can find a solution. The key then is to think about what is getting in your way.
- Are you scared? Scared it won’t be good enough or of the judgment that comes with every piece of writing? To overcome your fears, take out a piece of paper and write down what you are afraid of, to find the root of the problem.
- Are you striving for perfection? We’ve all been there. Just take a deep breath and then find a friend, parent, or partner to read your work and give you their honest opinion. Make a few changes if needed and press the submit button. We have to let go of the fear and the perfection that has been programmed into us.
- Are the words just not coming to you? Take a break. Your ideas need time to come to play. Give yourself time to gather new ideas from life or reading or other forms of art before you start again. Writing is magic; just find your inspiration.
2. How well do you know your topic?
If you know it, then re-read what you wrote a few times and think about what you might write want to write next. Often, rereading can give you a new perspective on the things you have already written and help you to continue writing.
If you don’t know it, it’s time to do your homework, go to the library or browse the internet and research your topic some more.
3. Writing schedule
We write when it’s possible, when time allows. That’s the problem. Just like you have a set time for a tv show, set a time for writing. It could be early in the morning before work, or every afternoon after work, or an hour right before bed. Be consistent. Your schedule must be specific to what works for you. For example, for my writing theory class, I wrote only on weekends: every Saturday and Sunday morning from 10-11 am.
If you don’t come up with a schedule, this is what will happen:
I know what you’re thinking, how can writing more help writer’s block? The key here is to step away from your writing topic. Try freewriting exercises, write about anything, and while you are freewriting, forget the rules of formal English. You are only writing for yourself, don’t worry about reason, logic, grammar, or spelling, just write! This technique will get your creative juices flowing.
Not on a literal vacation, but if you got money, go for it. This is what I do to “get away.”
- Go for a walk in the park
- Exercise/ meditate
Maybe you don’t like physical activity, then
- Go for a drive
- Grab a coffee/dessert
The point is to be kind to yourself. Take yourself out of the area in your brain that’s restricting you and allow yourself to get into that place of freedom, giving yourself the chance of elevating your writing.
6. Work someplace else
Go to your local Starbucks, library, or park anywhere you don’t feel confined. There is only so much your home can offer. A change of scenery can really help with writer’s block.
7. Crank up the music
Listen to music that fits the mood of what you are about to write. It gets you into the vibe. Classical always helps me concentrate!
8. Do Nothing
The last thing I would like to suggest is something none of us do, and that’s do nothing. Creativity is not something you can just turn on. There is no switch. Sometimes the magic is just not happening, and that’s ok. Get on with other things in your life and trust that the muse will return.
THE TRUTH ABOUT WRITER’S BLOCK
There is no one solution to this problem. Or rather, every writer finds his or her own way out. Experiment. Find out what works for you. Choose to get on with your writing! Truly believing that you can get through the creative downtimes makes all the difference.
Let’s make writer’s block a thing of the past.
Elbow, Peter. “Reconsiderations: Voice in Writing Again: Embracing Contraries.” College English, vol. 70, no. 2, Nov. 2007, pp. 168-188
Thomas, Patrick. “Writers Must Develop A Strong, Original Voice.” Bad Ideas About Writing, edited by Cheryl E. Ball and Drew M. Loewe. WVU Libraries. 2017
Lambert, Keith. “Helping Students Find “Voice” In Their Writing.” Education World.