Whether you’re starting work on a novel, crafting a freelance article or putting together a blog post, sometimes it can be really difficult to write when you’re not feeling inspired.
So how can you get your writing mojo back when you’re staring at that blank screen?
- If you have a vague topic in mind but you’re still not sure what to write, do a bit of internet surfing and read a few blogs to see what other people have been writing about. I often do this when I’m struggling for a blog post idea and end up with something popping into my head.
- Read a few blogs and you’re still stuck? Take a break from the computer and pick up a book, or even a magazine. Spend some time with good quality writing and let your own project slip to the back of your mind so you can absorb what you’re reading.
- Take a proper break. Focus on something else completely for half an hour: do a bit of cleaning, walk the dog, watch some television or exercise. Often, if you give your poor overworked mind a break, your subconscious will produce all kinds of exciting things on its own.
- Head over to Pinterest. One of my favourite places to find inspiration for everything from interior design to travel, Pinterest is an absolute goldmine of beautiful, creative images. Whether you want to find one that will fit perfectly with your latest blog post or you want that curious shot to spark an idea, you’re bound to find something. Just be careful you don’t get lost in there! I like to use Pinterest to gather things I find interesting or striking; check out my Typography and Inspiration board, it’s full of motivational quotes and sayings.
- Play some mood music. When I’m doing a spot of creative writing, I like to listen to melancholy music on my iPod – especially if I’m trying to get myself in the mood to write an emotional scene. Think about what feelings you’d like your writing to evoke and stick on your most relevant CD.
- Talk to a friend. Discussing your ideas (or lack of them) can help give you a fresh perspective. I’ve found that my loved ones enjoy the opportunity to give their opinions on my blog or fictional works, especially when they get a mention in the text!
- Move to a different writing spot. If you’re stuck at a desk staring at your office wall, try and find another place to write. A new view out of the window might be just what you need.
- Write longhand. Sometimes when I’m just starting out with a new project, rather than using my laptop I like to grab a notebook and a pen and write out the first few pages of my story by hand. Just the physical act of writing, rather than typing, can get the words flowing. Plus, I always find that there’s something special about using a beautiful notebook and writing across a smooth, pristine sheet of paper in your best handwriting. It automatically makes your writing seem better!
- Make notes. If you know roughly what you want to write but the words won’t come together, jot down a few bullet points first covering the main points of your post, article or story. Once they’re in place you can start to flesh out the details.
- Edit, edit, edit. If you’re writing a larger piece like a novel, there are always points when writer’s block will strike. If you can’t move forward, try going back instead. Edit the most recent sections of your manuscript and if you’re still stuck, maybe you should try getting rid of the previous scene and finding another way to move the story on.
- Avoid deadlines whenever possible. I’ve panicked so many times trying to write a blog post at the last minute without any clue what I wanted to say. Sure sometimes this can lead to some of your best work, but the unnecessary stress is never pleasant.
Hopefully these tips will help you next time you get stuck trying to write. But unfortunately, there are times when all you can do is grind out the words; they might not be perfect, but at least they’re on that page.
How do you cure writer’s block?