Conquer Writer's Block

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Is writer’s block ever a problem for you? It is for me, and I’m an author and book coach. Here are five methods I use for conquering my own writer's block that you can use too.

1. Stop Being Your Own Worst Critic

You know that you are your own worst critic. Sometimes it is good to be reminded of this. The last time you wrote a blog post or similar piece you probably had harsh thoughts of a sentence or paragraph only to find that it was the reader’s favorite point.

When you are writing, and you have these critical thoughts, it creates an immediate stop sign for your brain. Putting a criticism in place freezes your brain in a sense.

In fact, self-criticism creates behavior inhibition in the brain. In turn, this inhibition impacts working towards a goal. It also affects the language processors. In other words, self-criticism impairs your writing progress.

Simply think the writing process as a brainstorming session where every idea has equal merit - where every idea is written down. The ones that don’t will be removed later during the editing. During the writing, let all ideas flow.

Does this sound too hard? Start with writing the first five thoughts that come to your mind. Just write them without thinking or analyzing them.

Now your mind should have worked itself out of its jam.

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2. Do Your Worst

Have you ever told your kids to do their worst on something they are trying? How about yourself? Probably not.

Although you probably do put a lot of pressure on yourself to do your best. You want to be at your peak performance. It’s not often that you try to do your worst. Doing your worst is an excellent method for stopping writer’s block.

Thinking of the worst will release your brain.

Start with the five worst sentences that you can think of about the section of the book (or blog or any piece) you are writing.

For example, if you were writing about writer’s block you could come up with sentences like:

Writer’s block is no fun.

Writer’s block is blah.

If while working on these five, your brain switches tracks and starts thinking of good ones write those down too. If so inclined, you can completely change back to writing good sentences.

While writing the above sentences, it was hard to stick to the bad track and would have been easier to switch to good sentences. You may find the same. Go ahead and write good ones when you are ready.

You have permission to write bad sentences when needed. Do it now.

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3. Clear Your Brain

Are you still looking for more ways to conquer writer’s block?

Clearing your brain can stop writer’s block.

Your brain may just have too much happening. There are several ways to clear your brain by taking a quick break.

1. Take a break and get a drink of water or coffee. This activity will focus your mind on something else for a bit. Clearing your mind and putting the concentration on a simple task for these few moments can be the small difference that you need.

2. Do a few minutes of physical cross-lateral brain exercises. These are exercises that make the left and right side of your brain reconnect. This little spark can open up new possibilities in your brain. These exercises can be as simple as moving your arms back and forth to overlap one another.

If the exercises aren’t for you, there is another type. Simply try doing an everyday task such as writing or eating with your non-dominant hand. Using the non-dominant hand will make your mind think differently.

3. Use breathing techniques. For centuries as part of yoga, people have been using breathing techniques to clear their minds. While most people do breathing exercises for a sense of serenity, you can use it to your advantage for writing. Taking the few minutes to breathe right can make you write well.

4. Take a 30-minute aerobic exercise break. Exercising for this length will release endorphins or feel-good activators. The endorphins help with stress. Writer’s block is certainly stressful, and these endorphins can give you that extra boost you need to write those headlines.

What exercise best helps you clear your brain? Keep that in mind for the next time you face writer's block.

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4. Make Your Masterpiece to Music

Books have the power to impact people. So does music. It is so powerful that it can be used to stop writer’s block.

Music also has a powerful effect on the brain. It can help connect the right and left sides of your brain and provide harmony also known as the Mozart effect.

The next time you are stuck in your writing play classical music. If you really can’t stand classical then try something more to your taste that matches the emotions you want in the piece you are writing. Some authors even create a soundtrack for their book that they listen to while putting the book together.

What would the soundtrack for the book you want to write have on it?

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There are four powerful methods for you to try the next time you have writer's block. Do you have a more specific issue with writer's block? Email me at kathy@wheelerwriting.com, and we will conquer it.

 

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