If you have writer’s block, you might feel like you have nothing to say. You might barely be able to get your fingers to move on the keyboard. All you can think about is the deadline and the clock ticking ever forward. What should you do in such situations?
- Just keep writing. Tape the delete key down if you have to (hey, that’s why God or Bill Gates or whoever invented spell check, right?). Just like time only goes forward, make yourself write. Write even if all you are writing is “Shit. Fuck. My deadline is in 4 hours and I haven’t got anything to say.” Brainstorm and brain dump anything and everything – you’ll be surprised at what you come up with, and once ideas are in text, they are much harder to throw away. Don’t let yourself delete anything, and don’t let yourself take your hands off the keyboard (or page).
- Another strategy is to write with two documents open. One is the one that will become your final product: your term paper, grant proposal, fan fiction, whatever. The other is your “text pasture.” Here is where you will put everything and anything you can think of, even if it makes no sense, even if it’s profanity or a grocery list or a profanity-laden grocery list.
- You can nip writer’s block in the bud by getting in the habit of writing every day. 750words.com is a great way to start this. If you make writing a part of your daily life, you can train yourself to write more easily, even when you’re “not feeling it.”
- Take a walk. Some of the greatest writers took walks. Some of the greatest scientists have found there is a connection between physical activity and creativity. Let yourself take a 10 or 15-minute break for a quick walk, then revisit your blank page. If you’re not into walking, try some yoga or even just stretching.
- If you are using a word processor, try the ‘Focus’ view or even try a new word processor that eliminates distractions (such as Ommwriter) and makes the page the full screen with no other visible windows. If you can’t Facebook or Google or whatever, you will get more done.
One of our friendly, tweed-wearing Unemployed Professors is happy to help you with your next writing project.