Whether it be research papers, assignments, journaling or these Her Campus articles, I write all the time. Writing can be a great creative outlet, boosting your imagination and ideas. However, what happens when you don’t feel inspired? When your creativity seems to have run dry? You’re drained and unmotivated and sitting down to write seems like the last thing you want to do. As someone who also goes through the ebbs and flows of writing slumps, I am here to share strategies that have helped me conquer writer’s block.
1. Move to a different workspace
I spend a large amount of my time sitting at my desk in my bedroom — it’s where I get my work done. Wherever your go-to work spot is, constantly sitting inside the same four walls can start to feel as though the thoughts and ideas that would typically inspire your writing are at a standstill. Changing your scenery by going to a coffee shop, working in study spaces on campus or even just going to a different space in your home — your kitchen table or living room, for example — is a great way to regain focus and refresh your mind.
2. Word Vomit
I know the phrase ‘word vomit’ may sound a bit odd but hear me out. Grab a pen and paper or your laptop — whatever tools you use to write with. Then, don’t think about writing, just start. What you’re writing doesn’t need to make sense, it doesn’t need to be cohesive or flow. All you’re doing at that moment is writing down whatever is at the forefront of your mind, making those thoughts and ideas tangible. This often helps to bring out thoughts and ideas that you didn’t even know you had.
3. Partake in other hobbies
Engage in your other hobbies and/or pastimes that do not involve writing. Watch a few episodes of your favourite TV show. Watch a movie that has been on your watch list. Listen to a podcast. Listen to music. Paint, draw or colour in a colouring book. Work out, whether that be going to the gym, doing yoga or going on a walk. Sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper or an empty Word document isn’t going to get you anywhere, so allow yourself the freedom to enjoy doing something else that brings you joy. Oftentimes, concentrating on a task other than writing can allow the frustration of writer’s block to melt anyway.
4. Allow yourself time to rest
I know this may seem easier said than done, especially if deadlines and due dates hang over your head, but this is a gentle reminder that it’s okay to allow yourself time to rest, relax and recoup. When you do eventually re-approach your writing, it will be with a refreshed and re-inspired mind.
Although writer’s block comes with feelings of frustration, stress and discouragement, it is also completely normal to encounter every once in and while — don’t let this creative slowdown get the best of you!