Published On: Tue, Sep 2nd, 2014

Mind Over Matter: 5 Winning Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Everyone experiences writer’s block at some point. It’s a natural phenomenon that no one really seems to understand. But, it’s not actually that difficult to figure out. Here’s what to look for and how to overcome it.

Your Mind Is Not Clear

Writer's block? What to do?

Writer’s block? What to do?

A lot of writer’s block is ironically caused by a mind that is too active. It sounds crazy, because many writers say that they can’t write because they’re “drawing a blank.” In reality, what’s happening is that their subconscious mind has shut down. First drafts, and that feeling of inspiration, always come from a highly active subconscious mind.

The stimulation for writing needs to be turned on. When you’re stressed out, or you have a lot on your mind, you’ll find that you will draw a blank. Instead of forcing the issue, put on your sneakers and take a walk. Read your favourite book. Watch your favourite movie. Do something which does not require deep and critical analysis and that you enjoy.

For example, taking a hot bath, or going to sauna, is very relaxing. You don’t have to think about anything in there. You give your subconscious mind time to settle down. You can also try drinking green tea, or something else with the amino acid l-theanine in it. L-theanine is the substance responsible for the calming effect in tea.

Doing something, anything, that will relax you will help “unblock” your mind.

What’s Causing The Block?

If you can’t seem to unwind, try introspection. What’s causing you to become so frustrated that you can’t write? Why do you have a “blank mind?” Why is it that you don’t know what to write? Is there a lot of stress in your life? If you’re consciously aware of something, or some emotion you’re experiencing, analyse it. Uncovering the root causes of distracting emotion will often clear them, making it possible for you to move forward and get on with the writing process.

Create A Reward

Your brain works on a delicate reward system. If you create a reward for writing, and then you make good on your promise to yourself, it might just be enough to stimulate the writing process. Of course, sometimes, this strategy works best when someone else is offering the reward, like a partner or spouse or a good friend.

Take a Breather

Sometimes, you just need to take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes, and imagine somewhere soothing, like a beach or maybe a distant memory of your childhood. You can also hire a research company, like Ivory Research, to get the writing process started. Then, while other researchers gather up ideas for you, you can go out and essentially goof off – go watch a film or go to a friend’s house.

This will build up anticipation for what the research company has turned up. That, in turn, should knock loose any writer’s block.

Exercise Your Brain

Do word puzzles or free writing exercises. Sometimes, this helps to get the mind going again. Just start writing or doodling. Start out by writing down the first thing that comes into your mind, even if it has nothing to do with what you’re supposed to be writing about.

Often, a nonsensical story or even writing the alphabet gets the mind moving, because you’re physically moving. It’s that physical motion which ends the writer’s block.

At the end of the day, a combination of tactics and strategies might be necessary. What’s important is that you calm yourself, exercise your brain, and try to strip away any outside distractions that might prevent you from getting started.

Guest Author :

Jenny Wescott is a long-time researcher with a passion for the pen. When she’s not researching, she’s sharing what she has learned by posting online. Look for her enlightening articles on many writing, education and research blog sites.

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