Hi Al Bargen here. I have to confess. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been a little bit stuck in the writing department. Too often, time was moving forward but my writing was not.
If you ever experience that, I’ve got good news. Just like it was for me, help is on your way. It’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Drawing board? Yes… whenever you are stuck, how about:
- Reading potential solutions or ideas you may have written down before and writing about those
- Asking a few friends or colleagues for ideas and writing a couple of hundred words per idea
- Reading more articles, blog posts, books in your area of interest and writing about what they mean to you
- Reading something in a completely unrelated niche and writing a brief summary
- Practicing free writing, by simply writing down whatever comes to mind.
- Playing devil’s advocate, and writing out a brief argument against something you believe in
But I understand. You are a writer after all, so you must write. Right? We all know the end result of this kind of selfimposed pressure. So I saved the best for last. Here are my two favorite solutions that I keep coming back to when I get stuck:
- Relax by going for a 5 minute walk and oxygenate that brain. Distract yourself completely from the topic you are planning to write about. Often times it is the moments when we are completely distracted, that a brilliant idea presents itself. Write about that idea. Record yourself brainstorming every possible angle of your new thought. Then playback the recording as you start to collect your thoughts on paper or the computer screen.
- Perhaps you are your most creative in complete silence. Do you own a pair of noise canceling headphones? When my thoughts or environment here is full of distraction, I listen to baroque classical music through high quality headphones. Whether you choose to drown out the distraction with silence, or classical music, the key is to simply write.
When your writers block is breathing down your neck, it’s time to give yourself some time. Let things go. Find something relaxing or even joyful and let that guide your writing.
Question: What technique works best for you when you’re having challenges writing?
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