I personally struggle with writer’s block, and it feels like brain fog. Having writer’s block honestly feels like someone took my brain, put it into a jar, and started shaking it. I have all of these ideas just bouncing around and no matter how good they are, I can’t get them in order.
In my experience, writer’s block has no specific time frame, either. I can go all day without the motivation to write but then I’ll wake up at 2 a.m. with the most amazing ideas and must write them down before I forget. Meeting deadlines can be stressful enough. Check out a few key ways to overcome writer’s block:
As soon as I am assigned an article, I like to get all of my resources in order. I find sources, links, and I make a list of websites I’d like to use.
Doing this keeps everything in one place and allows for more time to write. I also organize the space around me. I cannot write if the television is on; so that goes off. I cannot write if I’m sitting amongst clutter, so I clean my space before I begin. I cannot write when the house is full so the best time for me is when I’m alone. According to Purdue Global if you can’t deal with quiet, trying putting on white noise.
Change your environment.
Sometimes sitting at home can give a writer cabin fever. Try changing the scenery. “Grab your laptop and head to a coffee shop or library or outside,” said Arika Lawrence, Experience Strategist and Technologist.
Take a break.
Sometimes our brains need breaks. It’s okay to have a super awesome day and get everything on your to-do list done but it’s just as okay to chill out and do nothing for a few hours. Put on music and dance or go for a walk/sit in a garden. If there is enough time between when you started writing and your deadline; come back to it the next day. It will help looking at the article through fresh eyes.
“I seldom feel blocked, but when I do, I put my writing aside. Let it sit and ferment. Don’t even think about your story—your subconscious will be grinding away on it even while you’re occupied with something else. When your subconscious is done incubating it will let you know, and when you go back to the story with fresh eyes you’ll be surprised at how much work has been done.” said a Penguin Randomhouse author.
Eat a nutritious meal or snack.
I’m a mood eater; I eat my feelings so if I’m feeling moody and sluggish, it’s going to appear in my writing. Try snacking on “brain foods” such as Kale, fruit, dark chocolate (which is a great mood booster) and drink plenty of water. According to WriterMag.com water is one of the most basic mood boosters for writers.
Get some rest.
You don’t have to be a writer to know that the body needs an adequate amount of sleep to properly function. I know for me, I struggle through the workday if I didn’t have enough sleep the night before. I’m clock-watching and it’s hard to focus.
“I am an epic sleeper and need at least nine hours a night. I realized that my creative process is all about a good sleep. If I haven’t slept, my writing really suffers,” stated an anonymous author on Penguin Randomhouse page for authors.
Remember your motivation.
What are you writing for? Are you writing because you love it or are you writing because you need money? Whatever your reason for writing, find it and let it motivate you. Writing won’t feel like a chore if you understand why you are doing it. If you can’t find your motivation, at least honor your commitment. I once heard that “determination will take you further than motivation.” Be determined to write.