It’s been a while since I’ve faced this problem: a blinking cursor.
Sure, I experience writer’s block, but most of the time I am able to figure out something to write about before my deadline. All that’s coming to me this week is the fact that I am staring at this blinking cursor. My dog barking at the wind is not helping. Anyway, because of this I’ve decided to research ways of overcoming a case of “blogstipation.”
1) Move around: Maybe your location is affecting your work ethic. I do a lot of my writing in either my bedroom or a coffee shop. Writing in familiar environments can be comfortable, but sometimes inspiration might not hit. At these times, try writing in a different room. Maybe go outside. Traveling to this new location will also help get the blood flowing and might wake up your creativity.
2) Turn on the radio: Music will de-stress you and open you to new ideas. Take short music breaks and listen to the lyrics or the melody. Forget about your deadline for a bit, come back and see if you have something new to say.
3) Refuel: I do a lot of my writing while I’m eating. Or I might be drinking coffee or some other caffeinated drink in the coffee shop where I’m writing. No matter what it is, take the time to refuel. This works in a similar way to moving around—it changes up what you’re doing and also wakes up your body.
4) Search for inspiration in new places: I read a number of blogs on a regular basis, but I don’t tend to look beyond them. Reading an unfamiliar writer’s work can provide lots of inspiration and ideas to write about. By no means should this be considered plagiarism unless you are copying them idea by idea and word for word.
5) Take notes: Sounds tedious, right? Well, it’s also extremely therapeutic for some people. I make it a habit to carry a pen and notebook with me wherever I go, in case inspiration strikes. Writing random notes down also helps me get my ideas on paper so that I can actually see my train of thought. I never know where it will go.
6) Talk about it: When I hit a wall, I start discussing the subject with a friend. Bouncing ideas off of another person can be extremely beneficial. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been complaining to someone about my lack of progress only to find that I’ve practically written the next part of my article through our conversation.
7) Get started: You might have a deadline to meet. In that case, you’re going to just have to bite the bullet and start writing. Write down everything that sparks in your head—don’t self-edit. Eventually something will develop and you’ll be on your way.
8) Put it aside: On the other hand, sometimes it’s just not the right time to be writing. If you don’t have a deadline coming up, don’t stress yourself out. Put your writing aside and come back to it in the near future.
Now, most of you might not have a great deal of writing to do this summer, but hopefully these tips can help you in the fall. Anyway, no matter what path you take to overcome this problem—which plagues everyone at some point in their life—when you get past writer’s block, the feeling of accomplishment is like no other. Celebrate the fact that you conquered that blinking cursor!