For creatives and writers alike, there’s nothing quite like taking an inspired idea and bringing it to life. Seeing your thoughts, ideas, and hard work turn into a cohesive, finished project is incredibly rewarding. However, working consistently can be a challenge because a little thing called writer’s block.
Today, we’re going to go over five simple strategies you can apply to your work style to help overcome writer’s block and get back on track with your creative project:
Distractions You Control
There’s nothing more tempting than to avoid staring at a blank screen when you’re feeling uninspired. That procrastination usually comes in the form of email notifications, text messages, or scrolling through social to pass the time.
The first strategy for overcoming writer’s block is setting yourself up for success by proactively eliminating common distractions before you ever sit down to work on your creative project.
- Turn your phone on silent and flip it over
- Close down your email tab so it doesn’t pop up notifications
- Put your document into “Focus Mode” so your computer doesn’t show pop-ups
- Close down all other tabs other than your writing document
This will help you avoid obvious distractions that you can control when you’ve intentionally set aside time for the task of writing and you find yourself trying to do anything else.
Stay on Target
Don’t multitask while writing and set yourself a goal of however many words you want to write or articles you want to finish in that days’ timeframe and stay on target until you’ve reached it.
If it helps you, schedule-in 30 minutes or one hour in your schedule for that day and the next (never more than two days at a time) for when you’re going to dedicate space for your mind and body to be creative.
During that time, you will promise yourself to spend time with your writing and creativity, like hanging out with old friends over coffee and snacks.
The more you practice, the easier it will be to pick up where you left off. Building discipline is something that you must choose to develop, but it will serve you well in the long run.
Trust the Process
When you sit down to write, you may not have a sudden rush of creative, inspired ideas for your topic and that’s OK. Don’t worry if your mind needs to shake out some cobwebs or distractions before getting down to the task at hand.
Just start writing whatever it is you’re feeling, and, hey, maybe it’s more of a journaling session that day. No matter what you find yourself wanting to write about, the point is that you exercised those creative muscles and practiced your craft.
Trust the process of being creative and writing even if in the moment all your words were about personal life stories and feelings and your project remains untouched. That’s what your mind needed at that moment and it’s all a part of the process.
Finished Is Better Than Perfect
There may be times when our writing won’t be (in our minds) the very best it has ever been but it is still cohesive, carries a point across and is more than good enough to be sent out into the world. Our perfectionism can get in our way when it comes to trying to make everything perfect, but sometimes finished is better than working to achieve the unachievable.
That’s why it’s important to practice your craft as often as you can, daily if possible, so that your natural skills and talents grow and can keep you at a level of excellence, even on the days where inspiration seems to be on the other side of a locked door.
Rewards Go A Long Way
It can be helpful for your creativity, confidence and the process of overcoming writer’s block to finish something smaller to reward your mind for all its hard work. That’s why setting a bite-sized, achievable goal for yourself when you sit down to write for larger projects is so important.
Our minds like to work on a reward-based system. As kids, you were given stars in school, buttons, and badges for your uniforms, or allowance and “atta-boys” for doing chores. When you’re a creative adult working to bring your writing to life, those rewards have to be self-created and regularly received to train your mind to want to keep working at it.
No matter the project, overcoming writer’s block really boils down to avoiding distractions we can control, developing discipline, and practicing our craft as often as we can. The more time you can spend in your creative zone, the easier it will be.
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