What To Do When You Can't Write

Writer's block... Ah, we've all encountered that dreaded term before. It's like a temporary death sentence. Okay, that'...


Writer's block... Ah, we've all encountered that dreaded term before. It's like a temporary death sentence. Okay, that's an overreaction. But having writer's block is bad. Well, at least that's how I used to see it.

I can't say I don't experience moments of not wanting to or not being able to write because I still do (and they happen often). But I have found ways to make sure that I don't stare at the wall or my blank word processor more than I actually write. Here are some of them.

Write about your interests

This is easier when you're a blogger who writes for yourself or see writing as an outlet. Do you like makeup? Go ahead and write about it. Are you a fan of fashion? Write away. The thoughts flow rather freely when you're writing about something that you like. If you still can't find something to be excited about amongst your interests, try writing about a trending topic that moved you or caught your eye.

If you write for a certain beat or niche, this might be a bit more challenging. What I do if I'm not very interested in a topic is research about it. There's something about learning something new that jolts the mind. It jogs up your brain.




Take a walk

Walk away from writer's block — literally. If you're a more active person, I'd suggest you exercise or do your usual fitness routine. If you're more like me, walking is enough. Moving can help energize you. Going out can also help you get some time to breathe. A change in view (literally) is always nice and helpful when you're stuck in a rut.

Prepare 

If I'm given a brief about a write-up ahead of time, I re-read the brief as many times as I can and start creating an outline. I may not know exactly what I will say, but at least I already have a flow for it. We usually regard writing as something creative and something that requires inspiration. While it is a creative act, it also requires technical skills and tons of discipline. You can't always just say you're not in the mood or your muse didn't come. Preparation, I've come to learn, is key in most anything in life — writing included.



Just do it


This point is related to the previous one. We often make excuses when we can't write. Now, I'm not saying that writer's block is not real because I have had a lot of experience with it. What I'm saying is you have a choice to unblock. It's not a permanent condition; it's not even one that cannot be undone at will. So, when you feel like you can't squeeze thoughts out of your mind, just try harder. Type anything. Start with whatever comes to your mind. You can always edit later. It's always better to have something — no matter how awful — to actually pick at and make better than having nothing at all.

What are your tips for beating writer's block?


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