Writing Wednesday: Getting Rid of Writer’s Block: Strategy #1
Writer’s block. It is, in a word, awful. There’s little that’s more frustrating that knowing that you’ve managed to get the time to write—which can be a huge trial in and of itself—and that, now that you have it, all you’re doing is staring at a computer screen. And, even more frustratingly, sometimes it seems like more that you try to push through writer’s block, the more entrenched it becomes.
So what to do with writer’s block hits? I’ve got a few go-to methods that I try if I’m stuck, and I thought I’d share the first one today. And that is . . . to do something else.
Wait, what? Did I really just tell you to abandon the writing you’re trying so desperately to get flowing? Yes, and no.
Here’s the thing. We know that different parts of our brains engage when we do different activities. And sometimes, sparking a different part of your brain can give you an idea that you wouldn’t have had while glaring at the computer. Sitting in the same place, feeling the full weight of anxiety that your writing isn’t going well, you can get caught in mental loops that don’t let anything else in. If you can break out of those loops, you open yourself up to new ideas.
So go do something that keeps you busy, but doesn't require all your attention. I’m not recommending that you work on homework here, or start an intensive project for work. Clean your house or your room. Garden. Do some easy knitting. Play with the dog. Or, my favorite, go for a walk. Just pick something that will let your mind cut loose for a while. You can ruminate on your story or novel a little, but also just let your mind stray. You’ll be surprised at how often that straying actually leads you to someplace that you want to go—to an idea that will move your writing forward.
What do you do to get rid of writer’s block?