13 Ways to Move Beyond Writer’s Block

If you’re writing and self-publishing a book, you have to be self-motivated. What exactly does that mean? Sometimes, it means pulling yourself out of writer’s block and getting back into productive mode. Read on to learn 13 tips for doing just that.
Writer’s block can strike at any moment, wasting your time as you vainly try to connect with your missing inspiration. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent cures for this frustrating condition.

Environmental Changes

Refresh Your Writing Space

Staring at bland, empty walls as you write can impair your creativity. Transform your writing area into a peaceful and inspiring oasis by adding artwork, motivational quotes and fresh flowers. Create a space that reflects your creativity, and you are sure to recapture your inspiration.

Listen to Music

If you normally work in silence, adding some music may help you break through your mental block. If you’re just looking for some background music, try listening to classical music. Some writers, however, enjoy the added stimulus of lyrics; phrases from the song may help you come up with a new idea to overcome your block.

Eliminate Distractions

When you’re struggling to put words onto paper, even the tiniest distraction can completely throw you off. If you’re working in your home office, leave your smartphone in another room. You can also disconnect the Internet from your computer to avoid wasting time online.

Change Your Location

Writing in the same spot each day can get boring. Take a trip to the park with your notebook or tablet. A change of scenery can stimulate your mind and unblock whatever is holding back your creativity.

Mental Tricks

Indulge in Other Creative Pursuits

Limiting your creativity to writing can stifle your imagination. Take an afternoon to work on a different creative skill, such as painting. Illustrating a scene from your story can give you new insights into your work.

Take a Rest

Sometimes, overwork can stifle your creativity and limit your potential. If the words simply won’t come, take a break and do something else. A brisk hike or a lunch date with a friend might help you jump over your writer’s block.

Add a New Writing Project

Though it may seem counterintuitive, some writers benefit from tackling multiple writing projects at once. When you feel stuck on one project, you can switch to a different project until you work your way through your writer’s block. Even if your secondary projects are not publishable, they will still help you stretch your writing muscles.

Make Deadlines

For some writers, the pressure of a deadline can unlock a hidden well of inspiration. If you are one of those writers, consider setting some deadlines for your writing goals. Ask a friend or associate to help you keep your deadlines; if they need incentive, offer to buy them lunch if you miss your self-imposed deadline.

Observe Your World

Being a careful observer of your own world can help you find new sources of inspiration in your writing. For example, while sitting at a museum you may overhear a peculiar conversation, giving you a spark of inspiration.

Technical Approaches

Read More

Exposing yourself to new ideas is a great way to break through your writer’s block. Pick up a classic novel that you haven’t read yet. Delving into a new world may help you think about your work in a new way.

Leave Editing for Later

As you write, you may habitually edit your work. However, focusing on your grammar too much may cause you to get stuck on technical details. Focus on telling your story first; you can edit after you’ve finished your first draft.

Talk Out the Problem

If you’re having a specific issue with your current project, talking to a friend is a good way to find a solution. For example, your friend may help you determine what a particular character would say in a certain situation.

Evaluate Your Interest

In some cases, you may experience writer’s block because you don’t care about the current project. If you’re not legitimately interested in finishing a particular work, move on to another project. Save what you’ve written in case you want to use it again in the future.

Kevin Osworth