19 Tips to Beat That Nagging Writer’s Block
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19 Tips to Beat That Nagging Writer’s Block

By Mainak Biswas May 04, 2013 - 718 views

Writer’s block needs no introduction to a writer and it could seem like a dreadful nightmare without any seeming end. It usually shows up at the inception of a literary project and could last for keeps if not addressed properly. This stagnation of thought leads to frustration and a feeling of impending doom in a writer, which could even coerce him to quit writing. It is often marked with the cessation of creative ideas and jazzy thoughts which would otherwise be easily articulated by a writer. It even drives a writer to consider his work, which he spent hours working on, vile and abject. This dejection manifests itself as frustration and also transpires as anxiety, which is completely uncalled for.

The problem gets worse for writers who regularly work on deadlines: creative writing becomes more of an ordeal and less of an avocation. Every cloud has a silver lining and writer’s block can easily be identified. Like they say, if you identify a problem you are half way through the solution. Since a writer’s block is no alien to a writer, every writer has his own well formulated strategy or a coping mechanism to deal with it. Given below are some of the tried and tested ways to address this despicable problem:

1.Take Proper Rest between Two Writing Assignments

It may not be a feasible solution for writers who have a lot to finish, but it is certainly the most effective way to bring out the literary genius in you. Taking some time-out will help you to clear the loops of repetitive thoughts from your mind and think clearly in a new dimension. During a hiatus, one must try to steer clear of any work related thoughts and concentrate on the joys of being.

2.Take Up Physical Activity after an Intensive Writing Session

It is common knowledge that brainstorming and writing for hours together can elevate stress levels and to alleviate this condition nothing works better than an intensive work out session or any physical activity which makes you break a sweat.  With alleviated stress levels you will notice writer’s block turning into a mere figment of imagination.

3.Deviate from the Given Topic and Write at Will

This may sound a bit unreasonable, but it helps significantly and has proved to bring about desirable results. Spend few moments writing about anything that fancies you and you will witness an inundation of ideas which you thought you lacked.

4.Do Your Research

Writing block may also occur from poor knowledge of the subject. Spend some time collecting information and delving deep into the data already available with you. This will give you a firm understanding of the subject and thereby reducing the chances of experiencing a block due to lack of knowledge.

5.Do Not Brainstorm while Sitting at Your Work Desk

You cannot expect to explore all the literary avenues sitting at your desk in front of your monitor.  Thinking requires open spaces and arguably, that is how the term out-of-the-box came into existence. Take brief breaks from work and take a stroll outside and do most of the brainstorming during these brief time-outs.

6.Listen to Your Body Clock

It is very important to work according to your body clock, a dozing mind is not much help in dealing with a creative block. Make sure that you understand your body clock well, and fix your writing schedule accordingly.

7.Quality Matters, But Not Always

You may be pushed to deliver high quality literary work, but that does come at a cost. It drains your reservoir of creativity and unleashes the maddening writer’s block. You must learn to cut yourself some slack. It is ok to goof up and it is ok to write badly.  One must understand that creativity is not mechanical!

8.It Is Easier to Conquer Smaller Territories

Most of the writers know it for a fact that a writer’s block usually manifests itself at the inception of a herculean writing project. Try to divide the project into small divisions which can be covered up in the stipulated period of time. This technique will help you to get through monstrous assignments with utmost ease.

9.Systematic Questioning Can Spell Doom for Writing Blocks

Systematic questioning is often practiced to come up with a set of ideas relevant to the topic in a structured format. It helps one to device the outline of the piece to be written and maintain brevity in the text. It gives the author a clear idea about what is to be conveyed and he goes about writing a succinct piece without straying much.

10.Draw References from a Relevant Piece of Writing

Go for articles with a similar subject line as that of yours and try to draw parallels. Do not make your article a mere copy of the original text, but just infuse the essence of the original text into your writing. You will see evident results in no time!

11.Limit Your Number of Breaks

As discussed earlier, the importance of taking breaks while writing is crucial but one should not go over board and spoil one’s discipline. It is very important for an author to restrict the number of “coffee breaks” to maintain the discipline.

12.Pick up Easier Writing Projects

There can be some writing projects which can be a tad awful and tedious; breaking your head over it just won’t help. Try picking easier projects first and finish them on time. Believe it or not it helps giving you the much needed motivation to get through tougher projects.

13.Record Your Thoughts

This is by far the most well received way to skilful writing. One tends to lose one’s trail of thoughts while jotting them down, the best way to hold onto that nascent nexus of words is to utter them into a recording device. It helps you to maintain that free flowing trail of words while describing your thoughts, and when you are done with it you may play that recording device and jot them down. It can also be used to record the thought provoking topics that crop in your mind, which would have otherwise sunk without a trace.

14.Just Get to Work

If you are trying to avoid writing block, being workshy will make matters only worse. Pull your socks up and take the bull by its horns. Just begin writing, do not think about the quality and focus on quantity, try to fill in one full page with relevant content. Half way through this exercise you will unbolt the door to unlimited verbal prowess and start getting a surge of thoughts.

15.Consider Writing Your Job Rather than an Art

Most of the prolific authors have related writing to just any other physical work to get over writer’s block. It is obvious that writing becomes elusive if you associate it with art, writers unintentionally condition their minds into believing that it is a form of art and needs a great deal of creativity. What writing primarily needs is grammar and vocabulary and the rest comes following. So, try not to glorify your writing project. It is just another job!

16.Keep Noise at Bay

Noise can do more harm than you can ever imagine. It can not only disrupt the flow of words you utter, but also make you forget your train of thoughts to an extent of permanently obscuring some thoughts. When you sit down to begin a new writing project, make sure that you do not let any kind of noise creep in, because that is the most vulnerable period. Once you get a go-ahead there is no stopping you.

17.Seek for Feedback and Ideas from Your More Opinionated Friends

This is the best time to use the suggestions and opinions of your more opinionated friends who are rather annoying at time. Such people are usually headstrong and tend to have a certain approach which might have eluded you. Make sure that they understand the topic well and familiarize them with the data and statistics available with you so that they do not digress from the topic in question. They can yield fairly interesting suggestions which you could include in your piece.

18.Seize Ideas from Wherever You Can

Carry a notepad with you wherever you go and capture any stray thought which you think might have the potential of sparking a debate. It is a building phase wherein you capture random ideas and in the next stage you put them to use in desired contexts. This brings out your best performance in every piece you write.

19.Do Not Try to Fit a Preconceived Idea into Your Text

It is crucial for you to understand that no matter how clever a punch line is you won’t be able to put it to use unless it doesn’t fit in the context. Never shoehorn a profound statement or a punch-line into your text if it refuses to fit in. Much to your dismay it will increase your despair and in the process you will block your ideas.

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