Overcoming writer’s block is hard – really hard. You could spend hours staring at that blank screen and not even come up with the title for an article. I’ve suffered through it many times since I started contributing actively to my own blog and various other sites.
Although a writer’s block could fade away with time, it is better take some immediate measures to battle it as it strikes and get started with writing without significant loss of time. This article talks about how to overcome writer’s block by temporarily shifting your attention to something else, possibly unrelated.1. Stop Thinking and Write Anything
The thinking process can sometimes prolong the block. A better way out is to stop thinking and start writing…anything. Just anything. It doesn’t need to center around the topic you need to write about. At the moment your primary aim is to get into the flow. So just start churning out the words without thinking.
2. Leave the Computer and Go Out
Shut down the computer for a day and take a trip to a local destination of your choice. Take a small notebook and a pen along with you so that you’ve got something to jot down in case the ideas begin to show up.
3. Listen to Podcasts
Download some podcasts that relate to the topics you love and listen to them. You could also put them on your iPod or mp3 player and listen while on the go.
4. Listen to Music
Listening to music is something you should do as often as possible. Research has it that music tickles the brain to increase the flow of creative juices. It might help you get rid of writer’s block too.
5. Watch TV
Admit it, you hardly watch TV. Who needs it when you’ve got services like Hulu? Well, try something a little different. Watch TV on a TV.
6. Read a Book or Magazine
Wipe the dust off those books in the shelf and start reading. Another thing you could do is to go out and get an issue of a magazine like Wired, instead of visiting the online version.
7. Surf Aimlessly
Browse the web aimlessly. Read stuff on Wikipedia, political sites, tech blogs, news…whatever. Just browse and read.
8. Chat With a Friend
Talk to a friend. Better if he’s a writer too, or someone who knows enough about what you do. Tell him about your situation. Discuss various topics related to your work. And you might just start getting those elusive ideas.
9. Check Stuff in Your Hard Disk
I’m sure you’ve got a lot of stuff – like pictures, documents, books and all stored in your hard drive. This is the time to scour through them.
10. Check eBooks You Never Read
If you are like me, you’ve tons of ebooks downloaded on your PC. And you never got the time to read them. Now, when you’ve got nothing to write, why not check those ebooks and start reading them.
11. Go Through Your Email
Dig into your email account and re-visit the conversations you had with your contacts, the ideas you shared and the things you discussed. Reply unread emails, if any.
12. Check Your Browser Bookmarks
This is a good time to take a look at the long list of bookmarks you’ve got saved in your browser. It’s likely that you never visited them again after saving. Check them out.
13. Check Your Del.icio.us Account
Why spare your neglected Del.icio.us account. It has a huge list of bookmarks too, isn’t it? Check them out too.
14. Mind Your Social Networking Sites
Not the time to look down upon these services as mere distracting tools. You need them now. You need them to provoke the idea-generating portion of the brain (which one-left or right?). So login and start interacting. Also, see what your friends are sharing.
15. Browse Videos on TED and YouTube
16. Browse Photos on Flickr
A picture can tell a story. And you need to write that story. Hence seeing that picture is essential. Flickr will help you do exactly that.
17. Browse Your RSS Feed Reader
Got 1000+ unread items in your RSS reader? Got some blogs which you never happen to check? Go through them now.
18. Browse Comments on Blog Posts
If any of you wonderful folks have been following my WorkAwesome articles, you would find that I tend to pick up ideas from blog comments. And it’s a good practice because in you end up writing about what the reader wants to read.
19. Organize Your Stuff
Organize your workspace and declutter your desktop. You might come across ideas while doing it.
20. Draw Charts, Diagrams, Mindmaps
Brainstorming through charts and mindmaps could be a nice way to get into the flow.
21. Take it Easy…Ideas Will Come Eventually
Done all of it, and still can’t find anything to write about? Don’t worry, take it easy. Just let go. Give your mind the time it needs. The flow will come eventually.
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