Anyone who writes for a living knows that there are days when the words just won’t come. In moments like these, any writer wishes there was some invention that could jump start their brain cells and make the words jump out of the page. Here are some ways to avoid facing the dilemma of having absolutely nothing to write:
1. Learn the art of the mind dump.
Sometimes a way to restart your writing engine is to simply write down anything and everything that comes to mind. Don’t even think about structure, coherence, grammar or style. Write down your train of thought no matter how senseless or meaningless it seems. After the mind dump exercise, go over your notes and pick out any ideas that could make up a writing piece. Often, the best ideas come from unexpected moments.
2. Keep updated on current events.
Being a writer, it can be assumed that you spend all day and probably most of the night in front of your computer. Take a little bit of your online time each day to keep abreast of what’s happening in the world. Read on current events, local and global news, entertainment, fashion, gossip, art, music and any other topic you can read about. Read about a topic even if it’s not part of your personal interest. You never know when you will be faced with a writing assignment that’s outside of your comfort zone. Having a stockpile of knowledge keeps you from getting writer’s block.
3. Get out and take a walk.
Meeting deadlines could cause writer’s burnout and prevent you from even typing a single word. Don’t waste more energy trying to squeeze out sentences and get out of your working area. Have a cup of coffee outside your house, watch a movie, or do something physical, like running or biking. Do something totally unrelated to writing to refresh and rejuvenate your writing mood.
4. Diversify your writing style.
Experiment with other formats for your articles. If you’re the type who sticks to a certain style, such as essay, try expanding into other presentations such as citing points, how-to articles, anecdotal or academic formats. Try changing the tone of your articles, from serious to laid-back, even humorous.
Writers sometimes forget that the reason for writer’s burnout or writer’s block is simply lack of rest. Regularize your working hours and discipline yourself into working at a set time each day. Knowing that there is an end to your day gives you something to look forward to and keeps you in a healthy frame of mind.
Writer’s burnout and writer’s block, though never easy to deal with, is never permanent either. There is no end to creativity, but sometimes it needs to take a break, just like you.