You've been staring at a blank computer screen for hours. Maybe you type a few words, only to hit the backspace key as you realize those words won't work either. You know that A+ paper, newsletter article, or journal entry is there in your head...somewhere. You run your fingers through your hair in frustration, and return to staring at the blank document.
Have you ever reached a point where you found yourself staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen, without a clue what to write? If you haven't, I am here to tell you: it's rather frustrating. So many ideas float through your head, but your fingers just don't seem to pick up on how to formulate what you're thinking. There are many things you want to write, but can't figure out how. Or, possibly the worst case of writer's block: not having a clue what to say, much less how to say it. I decided to look up a definition for this condition, and learned that causes vary from lack of inspiration to distractions (or even both!).
"So, what's the cure?" You may ask. After experiencing this frustrating predicament a few times myself, I decided to do a little research. I found some neat suggestions, as well as a few of my own cures, and I'd like to share a few with you!
Give yourself a break! Sometimes just a 15 minute walk outside can give you a fresh perspective on things. Physical activity increases the blood flow to the brain and releases nervous tension.
Choose a subject that interests you. While this isn't always an option, it's one that you should take advantage of whenever possible! If your emotions aren't invested in your topic, inspiration is much harder to maintain.
Free yourself of your inner critic. Sometimes perfectionism can stop you cold in your tracks. Give yourself 15 minutes to be totally free of your "inner critic." Set a timer and start typing - write whatever pops into your head, whether it is total gibberish, a shopping list, words that rhyme - whatever. The idea is to get your creative juices flowing. This exercise is so effective that many writers do this every day before they begin writing.
Read one of your favorite books or short stories. There's nothing like a favorite book to stir up some inspiration and make you want to pick up a pen (or put your fingers on a keyboard)!
Think of your project as a pizza. Eat one piece at a time. It is overwhelming for any writer to see a big project as a "whole" immediately. Start with a small section, even if it's not at the beginning, just write what you can. When you finish that piece, you will feel encouraged to move on to the next and piece it together.
I hope you find these tips helpful the next time you find yourself in this predicament. After all, they worked for me! =)
"If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word." - Margaret Atwood
Until next time,