Say hello to writer’s block.
Even professional writers experience moments when the words won’t come. Staring at a blank screen can be frustrating, especially when you’re on deadline. Whether you’ve got days or only a few hours to complete your project, try one or more of these winning strategies to smash through creative obstacles:
- Write something every day. You can’t expect to finish a marathon the first week you start training. If you’re out of shape, you may have to work even harder at it. Writing is the same. The more you do it, the easier it becomes and the better you’ll get.
- Read a lot. Draw inspiration from your favorite authors or bloggers, but don’t stop there. Check out different styles of writing that are outside your comfort zone. You might be surprised what influences you and you’ll expand your literary horizons at the same time.
- Step away from the computer. Take a lunch break, go for a walk outside or grab a cup of coffee. A change of scenery can do wonders for clearing your head. Avoid watching the clock and counting the minutes until your project is due. You want to relieve the pressure – not add to it.
- Make it manageable. Break a big project into smaller pieces with realistic deadlines for completing each portion. Chipping away at small chunks will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
- Get your groove on. Music can soothe the stress that blocks creativity and help you refocus. Try listening to your favorite song or playlist in the background. One member of our creative team counts on Pink Floyd to keep the momentum going.
- Take an Internet sabbatical. Email notifications, Facebook status updates, Twitter feeds and Gchat messages are distracting. How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ll just finish sending this last email” and realized two hours later that your project is no closer to being done?
- Stay on schedule. If you’re a morning person who suffers a major motivational lapse every day at 2 p.m., set aside the first part of the day for the heavy lifting. If you’re a night owl who isn’t coherent until noon, take care of phone calls and emails in the morning and put your thinking cap on later.
- Give yourself a break. Don’t beat yourself up when creativity won’t come. Negative self-talk won’t help you finish your project and you’ll only make yourself feel worse. Try focusing on what you have accomplished today rather than what you didn’t get done.
How do you deal with writer’s block? Share your tips in the comments section.