5 Tips to Break Through Writer's Block
If your job requires you to come up with creative and innovative new ideas regularly, then you have probably experienced a writer's block at some point. Not only does writer's block halt productivity and your ability to finish a project, but it can be quite a blow to your self-esteem as a creative thinker. Thankfully, learning to overcome creative obstacles is part of the experience of being a writer and, with some practice, can be understood to be dealt with quickly. You might even come to find that trying to break through writer's block creates some of your best ideas! Here are five tips often recommended by writers and other creative professionals to overcome writer's block.
Change Your Environment - Changing your environment can be as simple as moving to another room, walking to the nearest cafe, or as adventurous as driving to a favorite peaceful location. Getting up and forcing yourself to a new place will get your body active, and sending more blood and oxygen to your brain through movement can help you think more clearly. By putting yourself in a new place, you will have new things to discover and observe, helping you think of fresh new ideas.
Keep an Idea Notebook - Most creative professionals have some way to record new thoughts and ideas the second they think of them. Depending on your medium, you may have different needs. A small sketchbook for doodles, a large notebook for lists and brainstorms, or a downloaded program on a mobile device can all do the same thing. Find whatever helps you best write down your next great idea as soon as you think of it.
Look to Others for Inspiration - Sometimes, it helps to do a little research when you need a new idea. Looking at others' work that you find inspiring can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Remember, however, that plagiarism is never a good idea. Trying to think of ways to innovate upon someone else's vision will stretch and improve your brainpower much more than merely copying ever would.
Talk it Out - Having a trusted friend or mentor to talk about your ideas and struggles out with can be very helpful. When you find yourself spending too much time in your head, replaying and replaying ideas that don't work, hearing someone else's opinion can help the cycling stop. All of us come from very different backgrounds, and talking about an idea with another person can help you see things in a way you never thought of before.
Just Start Writing - Most importantly, you can never create new work if you don't start writing it! Although it may feel awkward and frustrating at first, by sitting down and forcing yourself to write and create, you might find that the answers start to come. It can help to relax your body and keep an open mind when you start instead of just believing the negative thoughts that you can't do it. Sometimes starting slow and making a few mistakes is all you need to do.
Everyone's brain processes information differently, so everyone has different ways to get through writer's block. Instead of resigning yourself to failure when you can't develop a new idea, try a few of these techniques and see how they work. With time and practice, you will find the best ways that work for you to break through writer's block.