Tips to Cure Writers Block

Old typewriter keys. ©Robin Nelson  

You’re sitting in front of a blank word document and you’re flexing your fingers, ready to smash out a master piece. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be spectacular. It’s going to change the world and you can’t wait to get it out! Just one problem. You’re not writing anything down. You minimize the document and hit play on the TV show you’ve been eating through faster than… no, you can’t even think of a clever metaphor. Game over, man, game over. Sound familiar?

As a writer you’ll be torn between relief and horror to hear that this happens to everyone, and in typical writer form, you’ll sulk over the fact that you’re just like every other writer out there. Fear not my dear comrade, your story and the way you decide to tell it are still exclusively yours, so with that in mind, here are some tips to break through that block that’s holding you back.

Watch a bad movie

Now I know you were just about to hit play on something compelling to inspire you, but give this a go. Listen to the tacky dialogue. Have a laugh at the substandard special effects. Make note of the gaping plot holes and cliché characters. Now check the production budget on IMDB and gasp. Yes, awful things get made and yes, of course, you can write better than that. Feeling better now?

Find your people

Just like you, they’re sitting on their couches watching re-runs of their favourite television shows, or have just been overcome with the desire to clean their ovens. Set up a writers group. The numbers don’t matter, as long as you have someone there. Pick a day and promise each other work. Now you have an audience and a bit of pressure there. Nothing back breaking, but just a little sting to put the fight back in you. Swap some work, read it over and discuss it. Look at you, being productive!

Go stag to an art gallery

Take yourself seriously as an artist and have a stroll though. Bring a notebook with you and jot down anything that comes to mind. Make notes of works that you like and ones you don’t and why they affect you. Write about the people you see. Scribble down things you hear them say. No Instagram, tweets or Facebook check ins! Commit to the day! Find yourself a quiet spot afterwards, skim over your notes and mull it all over before you plug back in.

Writify your environment

You’re back at exactly the same spot, fingers hovering like helicopters over the keys. Let’s give you a fighting chance this time! Set up a timed social network blocker to keep you from wandering and turn your phone on silent. For that extra kick, pour yourself a glass of REIZE to turn up the volume on that big, beautiful brain of yours. You’ve got to be sharper than your pencil here, so rip open a sachet, get those energy levels up, and write it all down.

It’s worth remembering that the combination of your life, your experiences and your opinions are unique. Your words are worth writing down and we are always in need of fresh perspectives and quality writing. So deprive us no longer of your tale, and get to it. Written sincerely, from one writer to another. Good Luck out there.

Written by Jacinta Lai