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8 Goof-Proof Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Ahhhh, writer’s block… That lovely occurrence when your train of thought derails, leaving you unable to form a cohesive thought, let alone a cohesive sentence. The belief that every syllable you manage to dredge forth and peck into your laptop is utter garbage. The fear that your brain may start oozing out of your ear from the strain of trying to latch onto a single, legitimate concept. So what should you do when you just get stuck? Do you know how to improve your writing skills? Find inspiration and beat writer’s block with these 8 tips:

1. Step away from your work.

paint a picture

Though you may be dying to finish your project, oftentimes abandoning ship is your best bet for getting past major writer’s block and figuring out how to improve your writing skills. Go find something else creative to do – something not in any way, shape, or form related to your project. Paint a picture, write a poem, grab some sidewalk chalk, whatever. Exercising the creative part of your brain will help you get back in the flow.

2. Let it all hang loose.

journaling

By this, we mean freewriting! Grammar? Who cares! Punctuation be darned! Sometimes the best strategy is to just let those minor details go. Try just 15-20 minutes of totally random writing to get your thoughts out. If this doesn’t work, try it for several days, then return to your writing project. Freewriting often inspires new ideas.

3. Exercise.

exercise

Hop on a bike, grab your yoga mat, or just stand up and do the hokey pokey! Whatever your forte, get up and get those buns moving. Exercise will help your body kick out some endorphins and relax your frazzled mind, allowing for imagination and creativity.

4. Disconnect.

disconnect

Ditch the phone, disconnect your wireless, and eliminate any distractions keeping you from working on your current piece. Seriously, you can get by without being interrupted by constant Facebook updates about the trivial things your friends are doing. Make your writing time sacred by asking family and friends for interruption-free space and time.

5. Sleep your worries away.

sleep

If you’re really stuck, try writing for 15 to 30 minutes before you climb in the sack, then allow your subconscious mind to problem-solve while you’re getting those ZZZs. You’ll often find yourself with a fresh perspective or solution when you wake up. Writing early in the morning can help with creativity as well.

6. Make your escape.

working at a coffee shop

Sitting in the same place at the same time every day can sometimes stifle your creativity. To really discover how to improve your writing skills, sometimes you just need to get out of your rut. Try working at a local coffee shop, or check into a hotel room for a writer’s retreat that includes quality one-on-one-time for just you, your project, and the room service menu.

7. Pick your friends’ brains.

pick your friends' brains

Bounce ideas of friends and coworkers. Brainstorm together. Make it fun and come up with really ridiculous stuff simply to loosen up and get you out of your slump. While you don’t want to steal ideas, discussing possibilities with friends and loved ones is a great way to kick writer’s block to the curb.

8. Get help.

writing tutor

When trying to figure out how to improve your writing skills, understand you may need professional help. Seriously. No, not a shrink, but private, one-on-one lessons with a great teacher or experienced author can do wonders for your frazzled little noodle.

 

Writing can be hard work, but refusing to let go of writer’s block can make it even more difficult. Don’t let writer’s block own you. Get out of your slump and learn how to improve your writing skills with these simple tips. Beat the block, chop it up with a machete, and get on with it!

 

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Photos by Bill Selak, Helene and Kev, Walt Stoneburner, Juli, Christian, Bill Selak, clemsonunivlibrary, Eastern Arizona College

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