I don’t mean to overgeneralize, but I argue every single one of us has experienced writer’s block in one way or another. Whether it’s the classic “what do I write this essay on” or the less obvious “how do I compose this text,” writer’s block is an inevitable part of life.
I, for one, am experiencing it like no other at this exact moment.
When you’re straining your brain to magically forge an ingenious idea to write about, you basically make it nearly impossible for yourself to come up with anything.
I’ve found the easiest thing to do is to take a step back and give your mind a rest. Nothing forced will be exceptional, so don’t force yourself to write something you aren’t feeling.
Here are seven things I do when I’m confronted with the oh-so vile writer’s block.
1. Listen to your favorite playlist/album
I’ve learned that music is a great form of therapy. Listening to your favorite songs has been proven to release a wave of dopamine, which relieves stress. Writer’s block, at least for me, always comes with a good amount of stress. Alleviating some of this stress is essential to allow your creativity to flow.
2. Take a nap
I can’t speak for everyone...but who doesn’t feel better after a solid nap? Giving your brain that respite from overthinking and allowing your subconscious to rule is like allowing yourself a clean slate when your wake up.
Similar to listening to music, working out has been proven to relieve stress as it gives you a rush of endorphins. It also takes your brain away from thinking about the problem at hand — i.e. writer’s block — and allows your mind to wander elsewhere.
4. Stream of consciousness
I’m pretty sure every high school English teacher has made their students participate in the stream of consciousness writing at one point or another. If you don’t know, it’s really simple—pull out a sheet of paper and literally just write. It doesn’t matter what comes to mind.
A book! Something! Anything! I recognize reading a good-ole-fashion book has become outdated (although I do highly recommend, there’s no feeling like finishing the last page of a hella good book). Regardless of if you’re an avid reader or not, reading something someone else has written — a magazine, a blog post, etc. — is a surefire way to spark some creativity.
6. Ask friends for suggestions
Some of my best pieces, in my opinion, have been inspired by brief conversations with my best friends. When you’re not the one in need of a topic it’s easier to come up with one. Use your friends to your best advantage.
7. Do something you love
In other words, do one of your hobbies. If you’re a painter, paint, a runner, run, a knitter, knit. For me, I play guitar. Doing something you love is a stress reliever, so you won’t feel as pressured to come up with an idea as you did before.
Different things work for different people, but we all experience writer’s block at one point or another. Ultimately, you have to find what works best for you. Moral of the story: don’t stress.