What was I just going to write? I have no- wait, now I remember. This one time, when I was blogging..eh- no, that won’t work. Ugh! Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever sat down to write something and then just ended up staring at your computer screen for about ten minutes before becoming increasingly frustrated? Even those of us who aren’t writers get a case of the good ol’ writer’s block syndrome (or as I refer to it, WBS). An example of this can be seen in something as simple as drawing a blank while you are trying to write a grocery list! So, here are a few suggestions for how you can get over the block and on with the writing.
5 Tips for Overcoming WBS
- Cut out the distractions: Many people will claim that they can work in noisy environments, but working is different than thinking. Try to think clearly about something in the middle of a crowded, noisy room, or in a small office environment with phones ringing and people talking loudly and laughing. It’s extremely difficult for most people. There is plenty of evidence to show that most good ideas stem from a silent environment. So, if you have to, get to work a little early before the office gets noisy so that you can at least brainstorm. If you work from home, then get up a little earlier or simply plan to do some work during a time when you know your house or living space will be relatively calm.
- Find inspiration: If you find yourself stuck, find inspiration by taking a look at other people’s work. You’re not stealing if you browse through the Internet. Quite the contrary! You can find a lot of inspiring ideas by looking at what others have written, photographed or acted out. Don’t limit yourself to the Internet though. Look around you at your everyday life, at how others around you act. Look at nature. You can find inspiration in just about everything!
- Think of a title first: Sometimes thinking about what you are going to write can be overwhelming. Starting with a working title can often times give you the push you need to start writing. Besides this, titles can be really eye-catching, giving you the sort of creative flow that is often needed to jump start any writing piece.
- Think out loud: Often times, if you write a sentence or two and read it back to yourself out loud, you can better hear how it sounds and pick out what needs to stay and what needs to go. Sometimes, you’ll even think of different ideas that stem off of your original idea. It’s a great way to approach writing. Just make sure you’re not disturbing your neighbors!
- Brainstorm with friends: There’s no rule that says you can’t ask a friend or colleague what they think about what you’ve written so far. They may even have different ideas than what you originally had, giving you more to work with. If all else fails, they can function as trusty editors who can give your work a quick proofing for grammatical mistakes and the like.