Writer's block is no fun. And in my line of work, I can't use it as an excuse! It may be hard to believe, but even professional writers get stuck from time to time. Here are a few tricks that I use as a freelance web writer to overcome writer's block:
- Mundane Activity - Sometimes, I need to do something thoughtless in order to do something thoughtful. A task such as collecting contact info, putting together tomorrow's To Do list, or washing the dishes at Saint Louis Coworking, is usually enough to get the gears turning again.
- Physical Activity - Going for a walk works fro me, but anything that involves getting out of your chair and moving around should to do the trick. For me, I take the time to go to the bank, pick up a few things from the store, or send some mail at the post office
- Reward - If I know I have writer's block because I really don't want to work on that specific article or project, I reward myself with a treat in order to get to work. Rewards that are particularly effective for me include playing a game, lunch break, Starbucks, or leaving work early. Whether I give myself the reward before or after work usually depends on the time of day and the type of reward.
- A Short Conversation - Without giving away the details (I do sign non disclosure agreements with a clients), I talk to a coworker or friend about the project and ask for their input. Sometimes, the advice I'm given is helpful, but it's the active discussion that gets me thinking about the project. A good idea comes along eventually.
- Switching Gears - Why waste time banging your head against a brick wall? Just like how a teacher suggests moving on to the next question when stuck on a problem, it's sometimes best to do something different entirely. If anything, i don't lose any more time and productivity.
That's it from me! I'd love to hear some of your techniques on getting rid of writer's block, or if you have any improvements to the methods I suggested.