If you happen to write for a living, then I’m sure you’ve had many days when it seemed impossible to get your brain cells firing.
Overcoming Writer’s Block can be more of a challenge than many think… it can be exhausting to grab that keyboard and start pecking away.
In my opinion, one of the greatest attributes that separates successful people from those that are not, is that successful people create habits by keeping daily notes and writing schedules for themselves… they are well organized.
The successful person see’s the long-term goal even during the days when they just don’t feel like lifting a finger. I also believe they have a strong support system of family and friends.
6 Simple Methods for Overcoming the Dreaded Blank Screen
Much of what has worked for me is keeping notes and having a written daily work schedule for tasks I need to accomplish, which has helped me to be well organized.
For me, consistency has been the key! Since I have been following my daily written schedule, I have been motivated to quit screwing around and get to writing.
The habit is starting to take hold, so here I am writing my story to how I finally found some motivation to get back on that horse and ride.
Here are a few tips I’ve found to motivate me enough to break through my writer’s block.
1. First Tip for Overcoming Writer’s Block – Rid Your Negative Thoughts!
Overcoming Writer’s Block can be more of a challenge than many think!
After you’ve been away from writing for a while, it may seem impossible, almost exhausting to grab that laptop and put your thoughts to the screen.
I feel that getting rid of the negative thoughts is a great place to start.
The key here is to set aside those highly destructive thoughts… my negative thoughts are what led to my procrastination and the lack of my writing ability.
It’s human nature to allow negativity to enter your mind every so often. It’s how you handle it is what’s most important.
Your mind can play tricks on you, making you feel like you’re failing, and that there’s no reason to continue down this path of what you’re doing.
The mind is a powerful influence; don’t let it take control of your thoughts!
If you tell yourself that you’ll fail, that’s exactly what will happen, you will fail!
On the other hand, if you tell yourself that you’ll succeed, you will succeed!
Keeping a positive attitude is key, so it’s important to open the door for positive influences in your life.
A known public speaker Zig Ziglar says that he wakes up every morning, slaps the back of his hand, one hand, then the other, then says out loud “It’s Going to Be a Great Day!”
You can motivate yourself… say it with me right now – “I CAN DO THIS!”
If you say it enough, you will start to motivate yourself into believing you can do it.
Look at Nike’s slogan “Just Do It!”… what the heck are they talking about? My opinion is… toss YOUR excuses aside and Just Do It!
Another thought that helped me get rid of my negativity and begin overcoming my writer’s block was thinking about my life and where I’d like to be in 5, 10, or 15 years from now.
Even though I may be feeling like I’m spinning my wheels just a tad at the moment, I remind myself that I’m doing this for my son and myself… for the LONG TERM!
If you haven’t been successful by this time in your life, just hang in there you’ll find what your term of success is if you just stay the course, keep positive and remain persistent.
Once you gain control of your negative thoughts you can begin writing, but let’s go on to the next tip.
2. Carry a Notepad or Recording Device with You
I find that I come up with the most creative ideas and thoughts when I’m taking my son to school. How often have you been at a red light when a mind blowing idea pops in your head?
It’s happened to me more times than I care to count.
I choose to carry a tape-less recorder, but a few times I’ve come up with an idea and it was nowhere to be found. So, what I do now is set the recorder directly next to my wallet, phone and keys.
Part of the writing experience is learning that good ideas do not always come to us when we need them. We must learn to harness ideas as they enter our minds, even as we’re about to fall asleep at night.
3. Physical Exercise Does a Brain Good!
People that tell you that physical exercise isn’t important for mental stimulation need a kick in the head.
If you find yourself staring at the screen expecting to see results, then maybe it’s time to get up and take a walk around the block.
You’d be amazed how getting the endorphins pumping will help you with overcoming writer’s block.
Hit the treadmill or the racquetball court or drive yourself to the gym for a quick workout.
When you do decide to go, make sure you take your notepad or recorder because the blood will be flowing throughout your brain, stimulating your thoughts.
4. Set Your Focus on the Benefits
If removing your negative thoughts wasn’t enough for overcoming writer’s block, then let’s focus on the bigger picture. Let’s think about what the benefits are for breaking through that mental wall and begin typing.
My benefits were… as soon as I complete this article, I will have broken through my wall enough to be motivated to write other articles.
The results will be that Mr. Google-Bot will say “Hey look, more valuable content, let’s move this guy up the rankings ladder”… bringing more traffic to my site.
It’s a Win/Win situation darn it.
It doesn’t take a Pulitzer prize winning story to have these amazing feelings, just taking a few baby steps towards the bigger picture can give you incredible satisfaction, plus bring a smile to your face.
5. Put One Foot in Front of the Other (Baby Steps)
Once you’ve rid your negative thoughts and focused on the benefits of creating your masterpiece, the steps to recovery are much easier.
Sometimes the bar is just too high in comparison to your motivation, so I believe in the taking of baby steps… putting one foot in front of the other is one of the greatest cures for writer’s block.
Once you get writing, don’t be hard on yourself.
Anna Quindlin wrote, “People have writer’s block not because they can’t write, but because they despair of writing eloquently.”
Turn that critical part of your brain off. There’ll be a time and a place to evaluate your writing skills – it’s called editing.
If even writing one article seems to overwhelm you, let’s take the baby step approach and start by writing your headline and a basic outline of your story, the rest will follow.
6. Get inspired, Remember Why You Started to Write in the First Place
Take a look at the articles that you’re writing. Are you doing what you love, or what you think has to be done?
Writing what you love gives you the most enjoyment, and this is what your readers gain from your articles.
I personally have received comments from readers that state, it appears that I love what I do. Doing what you love will enable your readers to connect with you.
Finding inspiration for articles to write has never been easier than it is today, so instead of beating yourself up, use the search engines to look up information that you are interested in and get inspired.
When you have found something of interest, get to writing, someone is out there just waiting to hear what you have to say.
If you continue to touch base with the joy you felt when you first started writing, this will sustain you through your current writers block, and whatever the future holds for you.