Writer’s block is that thing that you forget exists until it jumps out of the proverbial closet and scares the life out of you. It’s a member of that group of things you forget exists when you’re in a better place. Like how when you’re happy, you forget how you could have been sad. When you’re tired, you can’t comprehend how you ever felt energized. In the same way, in the rut of inspirational depravity, one forgets what it means to feel passionate and enlightened about something. So here are some tips to regain that momentum:
It’s the one thing that everyone tells you to do. But they say it because it works. Prolonged staring at a blank screen or a blank piece of paper will only exacerbate your stress. The key to regaining perspective is to walk away and clear out your mind. That takes me to Step 2:
Don’t walk around thinking about the problem. You’ll be flustered about it the entire time. Don’t pace around your room storming about how you can’t figure out how to resolve your issue. Just relax, breathe 10 times, and let you mind clear up. The bliss of peaceful cognition will allow you the room to add new inspiration to your mind. However, you might find thoughts still nagging at the back of your mind. For that, consider Step 3:
Watch a youtube video. Or read an article. Call your mom. Check the mail. If you have a pet, pet them. Do anything that gets you away from the project both physically and mentally. To help get rid of the nagging feeling, give yourself a set amount of time for distraction. That way, you can concentrate on fun leisure time and not worry that you’re not paying attention to something pertinent and will forget about the project. You’ll get back to it. I promise! Just not right now. And that’s fine.
Return to the project and consider changing your approach. Maybe a different form of brainstorming or a new way of taking notes. Changing the format may help inspire you to finally start working, or it might make you prone to new ideas. Either way, just get back to it. And if the writer’s block is still there, then so be it. Tomorrow’s another day. Sleeping a night will erase the canvas of your mind and you’ll have a fresh slate to work with tomorrow.
Sometimes, these Steps don’t need to be completed in succession. Sometimes, you can simply go through Steps 1 and 2, for example, and find your brain sufficiently refreshed. Other times, going through all the Steps may be required. Each case of writer’s blocks different. And maybe none of these tips will work. Who knows? But the worse thing would be not doing anything about it and just sitting there marinating in self pity. Don’t be a miserable couch potato. Go pet a dog. It’s more fun. For you, and for the dog. And plus, it counts towards Step 3.
Written by Navid Lalji.