10 steps to overcome writer's block and write effectively
You want to write a masterpiece or a good blog post, that would let you convey your message to the world. You want to introduce something new to the world. With all that hope, you sit in front of your computer or your book, but all you can see is the blank page.
You force yourself to think. You pull your hair out and search your mind continuously for the ideas. But you feel you can never get one. And we writers normally call this as writer’s block.
Writer’s block is not something uncommon. Even the writers who are considered as the best faces of writing faces writer’s block and they have openly spoken about it. To let their fellow writers know, it is very common and anyone can overcome it if they follow few things, which would help them tap the corners of their mind, and pull out those hidden ideas from there.
“Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?” ― Kurt Vonnegut
1) Stop caring about people’s judgment
The only thing that kills many dreams in this world is the fear of what people might say about the things we do. Until the day we are continuously thinking about others opinions, we can never come up with one of our own. Many people write poems, novels, blogs or have the idea for creating all these, but never bring it in front of the world fearing the judgment of others.
If you are one among them, you have to understand one thing. In the end, what matters the most is the message that you want to send out to the world. By fearing the judgment and opinions of others and by not letting the world see your work, you are not only cheating yourself, but you also depriving the world of what it could have heard. Like they say, where it is good, there is always a bad too. And in the same way, where there are people who appreciate you, there will always be the people who criticize you too.
Do yourself a favor. Stop caring about what others might think about your words, about your work. They read your work today, criticize you and forget about it tomorrow. Write for yourself, and let the world see it.
“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
2) Start writing immediately
The more you sit in front of an empty paper or an empty screen, the more it instills fear and uncertainty into your heart and ruins your sanity. It will make you feel helpless and eventually make you give up.
To overcome this all you have to do is, just start writing immediately. Don’t care about what you are writing, or how you are writing. All you have to do is write whatever comes into your mind until your mind aligns itself with that flow of ideas and words. Once it happens, the ideas will begin to pour and all you have to do is to just jot it down on a piece of paper, or type it on that empty screen that exists in front of you.
“Don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. Begin, and inspiration will find you.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage. ― Julia Cameron
3) Choose a place and pick a time to write
Let me ask you a question, how do you feel when you go to your bed? don’t you feel like sleeping? How about when you go to school or work? don’t you feel like studying and working? It happens because your subconscious has accepted and associated that particular places for particular purposes or tasks. And it will guide your mind and body to follow that purpose or pattern when you arrive at that place.
In the same way, select a place for writing and begin writing there. And also select a particular time in a day, during which you feel your creative abilities can reach their peak and set that time for your writing process. Once you begin doing your writing in that particular place and at that particular time, your subconscious mind coverts it into a habit and the idea begins to flow easily, when you move to that place or at that point of time as your mind would have accustomed to it.
4) choose a good writing software
If you are using your computer for writing, there will always be distractions, due to the notifications of various software installed in your system, that continuously pops up at the top and bottom end of your screens, or you might keep checking the time many times, rather than focusing your attention on the flow of ideas and converting those ideas into words.
To avoid all these, you need to choose a writing software which will help you in eliminating all these distractions. There are many writing software out there. Some are free and some costs you few bucks based on the features they provide. Do yourself a favor, install any one of these in your system if you are doing all your writing directly in it. And you can eliminate all those unnecessary distractions, which will help you to only concentrate on your writing.
5) Use Kaizen(Japanese one minute) technique
Not only for writing. For any task in that case, if you are master in procrastination, Kaizen is a technique that you should give a try. Kaizen is a Japanese technique which states, When you feel like not doing something, just tell yourself that you will do that task, just for a minute and stop doing it. But when you say yourself that and sit to perform that task and get into a flow, you will end up doing it for more amount of time.
Kaizen is bound to the one minute rule because, if you say yourself that you want to do something for a long time, your mind will try to argue you out of doing it and make your thoughts wander away from that task. But on the other hand, if you say it is just for a minute, it is a lot easier to lure your mind to get committed and begin performing that task.
6) Avoid distractions
A lot of times, the only things that are standing between you and the completion of something important to you is the distractions you allow to control you or the one which you yourself create around you.
If you keep your cell phones next to you and begin writing, your mind will always get distracted when you receive a notification. Or you will always tend to check your mobile at regular intervals to see if you have received any notifications, as it is a habit for you already. Keeping your mobile aside might be hard for you initially, but trust me in this, it will help your writing process a lot more than you can imagine.
As I have mentioned above, the place you select to sit and write also matters and plays an important role. Make sure you select a place where someone won’t keep disturbing you while writing and disturbs your flow abruptly, every now and then.
7) Search for the images and hear music
All forms of arts are interconnected. The music can be turned into words of your own. The images can be deciphered and used as an inspiration to write something, that you were continuously thinking of. To let your mind move in different directions and come up with the ideas related to the things that you want to write. Search for the images that are related to what you want to write.
Also, build a playlist that would help you in concentrate on your writing process and give you ideas about the things that you are trying to write. Some might love the sound of rain and thunder. And some might love the sound of waves and breeze. Your taste of the music is left you, but it separates you from your chaotic surrounding and restless thoughts, which in turn improves your focus and concentration towards writing.
8) Read others work
Admit it. Before you began writing, you probably would have read a lot already. Some novels or some authors would have inspired you, to write about your own voice, your own thoughts and give it to the world. Now think about this, what if you dare enough to write and present it in front of the world. probably someday someone may read your work and decide to become a writer. That should be one of the factors, that will excite you more about the writing.
The ideas that you want to think about or present has already been written. But probably in different contexts. When an idea pops up in your mind, the structure of it will always be incomplete. And by reading the work of others you can keep placing the blocks in those empty spaces to make the whole structure complete. Reading others work not only gives you the ideas but will also help you in seeing the world in their perspectives and see things through their thoughts.
9) Go out for sometime
You are sitting and pondering all your mind to come up with an idea. When you cant come up with one, you force yourself more and more. Or you have sat and written for more time than you could write, and now your brain wants to stop thinking for few moments. Once you reach your threshold, you won’t feel like continuing many times. At such moments don’t force yourself a lot to continue, it will only put more stress on your mind and closes the gates of creativity and ideas.
Give yourself a break. Do things that would help you in relaxing and coming up with more ideas probably. The calmer and composed you are, the clearer your mind is, and more ideas will find their way to you. To do so, get up from your place and go out with someone you like. Or spend some quality time with yourself in silence. Or call someone you like and speak with. Do whatever things that would make you feel better and lighter. The more relaxed your mind is, the more creative you become.
10) Write down your purpose and read it every day
When you don’t feel like writing anymore when you feel things aren’t working your way and you feel like giving up. Think about the fact, that why you started this in the first place. Probably you wanted to let the world know about your message. Or probably you wanted to affect others living in a better and beautiful way. Or it might be any other reason. Write it down and keep it in a place where it is visible to you. Read it every day in the morning or before you sit to write. When you have a purpose, it is easier to work on the things and accomplish them.
Writing is an impeccable journey, entering into the infinity through your mind and watch the world through those corners where probably no humans have visited before, or at least only the selected ones. Celebrate it, mean it and do it like there had never been a better day to do it before.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings