Writer’s block is something that happens to everyone. You don’t have to be a novelist to experience it. You can get writer’s block when writing an essay or an article. Really, you can get writer’s block when writing about anything. The struggle with writer’s block is overcoming it.

Personally, I get writer’s block all the time. When I need to be writing an essay for class, all I can think of are good topics for Odyssey articles. When I’m supposed to be writing Odyssey articles, all I can think of are novel plots I want to write on. Sometimes, I can’t think of anything to write for any medium. It’s hard to get through and it’s frustrating that it happens so often. But writers of any caliber persevere. However, when persevering gets hard, there are some tricks.

Writer’s block typically stems from lack of inspiration. As humans, we all get very involved with what is going on in our own lives. Our focus is on what needs to get done, or what we want. While there’s nothing wrong with being life focused, it’s hard to be inspired because you’re limiting your view. Inspiration can come from anyone, anywhere, and at any time. But if you’re looking through a tiny lens, you’re less likely to find it, especially when you want to find it.

That being said, if you’re having writer’s block, look for inspiration. Don’t just sit in your room, isolated, trying to type an essay even though you’re stuck. Change scenery. Try going to the library, maybe you’ll run into someone in the same class as you who you can discuss the paper you both have to write, and bounce ideas off of each other. If that’s not your speed, try taking a break and change scenery. Even if that’s just leaving your laptop alone and going to Sonic for a milkshake or taking a walk around campus, do it. It’ll get your mind off your essay for a while, it’ll stretch your limbs from whatever cramped position you probably had them in, and it’ll restart the flow of creative (and intellectual) juices.

Inspiration searching for other undertakings is a bit harder than essay inspiration. A lot of the time you don’t have coconspirators writing the same novel or article as you want to. So you can’t get inspiration from people like that. You could always ask friends and family for ideas, but there’s no guarantee that it’ll fit with what you’re writing. Personally, I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest. I know it sounds really strange, but there are a lot of pins with writing prompts on them. Sometimes the prompts that are given are good enough to be a novel by themselves. Other times, the prompts are good for little scenes or articles. Sometimes the questions brought up by reading the prompts spark an idea of what to write. Either way, it’s my favorite way to gain inspiration, because I don’t have to leave the comfort of my pajamas, my bed, or my apartment to gain it. Plus, I could spend days upon days on Pinterest.

Writer’s block isn’t anything to be afraid of, though it can be frustrating. If you’re getting it, you’re writing, which in itself is a beautiful thing. Just go out and find inspiration if you’re struggling. You never know what you’re going to be inspired by if you don’t step outside your head and your writing.