If you’re a writer or creative, you’ve probably heard about writer’s block, and experienced it at some point. While some think it’s an excuse to not work, others consider writer’s block a real issue. I should note – though it’s called writer’s block, it happens in any kind of creative endeavour!
“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.” ― Terry Pratchett
If I’m to be totally honest, ironically, I developed a slowdown in inspiration just writing this article. So, there you have it, you’re not alone. In fact, many professionals have been known to have writer’s block, including; Author F. Scott Fitzgerald, composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and even songwriter Adele.
“I think writer’s block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible. But as a writer, I believe that if you sit down at the keys long enough, sooner or later something will come out.”- Roy Blount, Jr.
Do the long blank stares and lack of concentration sound familiar? Not sure how to begin? And after scrunching up the 20th piece of paper, you still have no idea what you’re doing? Then you need to keep reading!
Writer’s Block is a condition that can alter your ability to create and complete work and as the name suggests it has been known to mostly affect writers, but let’s face it even if you’re not a writer, you’ll understand the feeling of disconnection from tasks. The on-set of Writer’s Block can occur from stress, illness, low self-esteem and personal pressures. With additional distractions thanks to technology, social media and daily pressures our ability to stay focused is weakened.
“Don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. Begin, and inspiration will find you.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and uninspired here are 6 ways to move past any creative blocks and stay focused on the goal.
1. Keep it simple
Doing things in small simple steps helps me to feel less overwhelmed. Plan your workload, and if you need to complete a task that requires your full attention, clear your schedule. Give yourself enough breathing room to think, that way you won’t feel pressured by time.
2. Get rid of the distractions
This is a strictly ‘Do Not Disturb’ zone, leave your emails, phone and social media (for now) Don’t tell me you can’t multitask, I bet you can’t! I don’t believe anyone who says they can! Besides, why would you want too? Do you really expect to write your next bestseller or create a new masterpiece while swiping left on your mobile? I don’t think so!
3. Get away from it all
When work gets too much sometimes it’s best to take a break, it doesn’t have to be a long break, unless it’s a holiday you need! Sometimes all it takes is to go for a walk, exercise, meditate or have a nap. But, don’t forget your notebook if you do go out. In fact, annoyingly my inspiration always hits the moment I leave the house. I don’t always remember to take my notebook, it should be strapped to me!
4. Phone a friend
Okay, okay I surrender, please help me… There’s no better advice than the one of a friend. If you know someone that could help you out, ask them. The issue might be an obvious one, even though you’ve been staring at your blank screen for hours. Lock me up and throw away the key, I’m guilty of not putting up my hand too!
5. Start something new
Yes, you read right! Move on to the next project. Just like taking a break, working on something new just might give you that ‘Ah-hah!’ moment you’ve been searching for. And if you’re not keen to start something else, grab that note book and start doodling, just taking your mind off the issue at hand can work wonders.
6. Clear the clutter
A cluttered work space can muddle your mind and inhibits the flow of ideas. Clean up the space you work in, and instead replace the chaos with things the make you happy. Photos, stationary, a beautiful journal, your favourite books. Surround yourself with everything you LOVE. This’ll spark up inspiration, help you find solutions and hopefully clear your Writer’s Block.
“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all” ― Charles Bukowski
Even if you’re not feeling motivated, using these 6 simple steps daily, is good practice to becoming the most productive you yet! So, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to make that plan, write your bestseller novel or paint the next Archibald prize winning artwork. And as I love to say:
“A blank page is like a blank canvas, this is where the magic begins.”
Nicharla Malouf is a freelance writer and designer. She is the creator of La Muse Journal, a site aimed to inspire young designers and creative professionals to follow their passion. Her previous experiences in fashion, marketing and design lead her to her current career in writing where she combines her creativity with a systematic approach when it comes to content solutions and marketing strategies.