For the last month and a half, I’ve done something I rarely do: sit still. January through March tend to be slow months for me travel-wise but I’m actually enjoying my time “off” so to speak. As any writer or blogger might tell you, it’s very rare to actually stop working. In fact, some of my favorite days of the week are Saturdays and Sundays because I feel like I’m getting ahead even though I’m more often than not, simply catching up with assignments.
Moving to California has definitely helped my writing to take flight. Not only did I finish the first draft of my first novel for young adults (yay!) but I took on a few more ongoing writing projects. The warm weather is a major mood changer for me, and that’s made quite a bit of difference in how productive (or not) I am throughout the week.
Since I’ve definitely suffered from writer’s block more times than I’d care to count, here are a few tips I use to get back in the zone. Have another idea? Tell me in the comment below of tweet me @BohemianTrails.
1) Change Environments
For me, this is the best way to cure writer’s block. I’m a morning person, which means that I have a ton of energy and focus for about three or four hours in the morning but by lunch time, I crash. Based on experience, I’ve found that changing environments, even if it’s from my desk to my porch outside or to a local coffee shop, really helps. I generally prefer to work in silence but there is something to be said about working from cafes. If you go to one that doubles as a co-working space, even better. Seeing other people typing on their computers always makes me feel like I’m at a real office and I feel more productive.
2) Say NO to things that don’t serve you
This is a great tip from my life coach and I think it really applies to writer’s block as well. In the past, I noticed that when I wasn’t feeling particularly creative, I’d use any excuse not to attack the problem right then and there. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—I was doing more work and making more revenue—but my intention was to avoid my writer’s block instead of mending it and that’s the real issue here. If your goal is to complete an assignment or write a piece for practice, put it at the top of your list and instead of piling more tasks on top of it, create rewards for yourself if you complete your article.
3) Close your MacBook and open a notebook (or a book)!
Have you ever found yourself starting a project or a writing assignment and then checking Facebook for live updates? This happens to me a lot, not just because I do manage some social media accounts that requires me to do this but because I’m just as addicted to social media as the next person. If you have writer’s block, this distraction can pose a real problem. If you don’t trust yourself to turn off your Wi-Fi connection from your computer, just shut it altogether and take out a notebook instead. Try to write something, anything to get back in the practice of honing in on your creativity.
4) Stop comparing, start collaborating
As a small business owner and freelancer that works from home most days (or a hotel depending on where in the world I’m writing from) it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. One thing I actually do miss about working at an office is the team environment that comes along with it. Working alone often forces you to be particularly hard on yourself and over time, that can really weaken your self-esteem. So, the next time you feel like comparing yourselves to others, think about two ways you can collaborate with them to make your work even better.
5) Get out of your own head
When closing your computer and getting our your paper and pencil isn’t enough, consider leaving your desk completely. Similar to changing environments, sometimes what the mind needs is a few minutes, or hours, not stressing about how you have writer’s block. It helps to have a hobby, whether that be playing soccer outside or simply catching up with friends over a happy hour cocktail (No judgment here)! I tend to put a lot of my own self-worth on how well my career is going so making time for “me” outside of writing is a major priority for me at the moment.
How do you get inspired again? Tell me in the comments below!
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