If you're a writer getting hit by writer's block, know this… You're not alone. In fact, that's also the reason why I decided to start writing about some tips on things to do when you get hit by writer's block.
You may notice that it's been a while since the last time I posted the collab post on places to visit for Valentine's day in January, and there's a reason for it. And that's the freaking writer's block. It's not that I have no idea what to write, because there are some experiences that I want to write about, although I just wasn't inspired enough to start it. Ironic, isn't it?
Well, in order to hoping that it will help me overcome my writer's block, I decided to motivate myself by writing about some things I usually do when I get hit by it instead. So, what can you do to overcome writer's block as a writer? Here we go!
What You Need to Know About Writer's Block
One thing you need to know about writer's block is that we've all been there. I bet even J.K. Rowling had that at some point in her life, so at least I've come to that stage of acceptance when I realized that I'm not the only one who struggles with this.
Another thing I realized about writer's block is that it's often more like psychological than anything else. More often than not, I had to combat writer's block when I wasn't 100% fit mentally. Whether I realize it or not, there's always a root cause for it.
For the past month, the cause was positive as I was too busy enjoying life with my boyfriend that I didn't have time to sit down and think about what to write.
But it's not always the case, because if I remember anything about writer's block, it often happens when I get anxious or hit by imposter syndrome. The thought of me not being good enough, or when that loneliness kicks in. Come on, I can't be the only writer here who occasionally gets hit by loneliness!
Well, understanding the root cause of your writer's block will help you determine the best thing to do to overcome it. So, what do you need to do when you get hit by writer's block?
What to Do When You Have Writer's Block
Now that you can probably figure what's the reason behind your writer's block situation, it's time to dive deep into what you can do to defeat this common evil for fellow writers. Here are some things you can do when you get hit by writer's block!
1. Take a Break
The difference between us and some other professions is that we rely much more heavily on our brain stimulation than anything else. Some people can do things on autopilot for their job, we can't. And that's a fact!
One of the top-notch solutions to this is… Have a break, have a kitkat too if you will. But seriously though, sometimes all you need to do is just spare a few days without thinking about writing to get inspired again. It works for me, since my entire job is really related to writing. Be it to write for this blog or for my clients.
The downside of it is that sometimes when things get rough, you would try to validate taking a break by not doing anything at all and avoiding what you need to do in the first place. So instead of defeating writer's block, you block your creativity flow into the neverending break.
Be disciplined with your time management. Take a break, but know the limit. If the break doesn't stimulate your brain, it's probably best to consider the next thing you can do to overcome your writer's block.
2. Change your working environment
If your workspace no longer sparks joy, maybe it's time to change the environment to let that creativity flow. As someone who works from home most of the time, there are times when I feel like I want to stay away from my workspace.
I often need to start doing some spring cleaning just so that I can get better energy to trigger those good ideas of mine. But then I realized that maybe the fact that I work from home most of the time is also the core problem of my writer's block.
It's also the reason why I started exploring the places where I could work and focus with minimum distraction. My favorite place to go when I feel like having to change my writing environment is a coworking space. It's ideal for me since I get the sense of having to work when I get there, without having to get distracted by some Gen Z hanging out somewhere, like in the coffee shop.
3. Use another platform to channel your creativity
You're an artist that channels your creativity with words… I get it. But when you get hit by writer's block, you may need another platform to pour all your creativity juice instead.
It could be anything random like singing out loud with Spotify on to even learning how to paint. Anything that could distract you from the negative thought of being a piece of shit who claimed themselves as a writer but can't get their ass to write… Trust me, I've been there too.
I started journaling and scrapbooking when I got hit by writer's block earlier this year. While I started my blog as a digital diary, I'm in my mid-30s now and I decided it's time not to overshare things through my content so journaling seems to be the right channel to pour all my creativity flow.
If you're not sure what to do for you, it's also worth looking back and see the kind of hobbies you got when you were teenagers. When you suffer from writer's block, you can see it as an opportunity to get in touch with the child in you. Who knows? Maybe after that, you'll get inspired to write something nostalgic. It's worth knowing than getting stuck with writer's block, isn't it?!
4. Read new stuff
I forgot where I read it, but I read something about how reading makes you a better writer. So, why not grab a new book to see if it can inspire you to write more?
Even if you have a shorter attention span that you can no longer sit down and read the whole book in a few days like you used to, you can just spare some time on Twitter and see what's out there.
I swear I thought I'd be done with Twitter in the early 2010s, but apparently in 2020s, Twitter can definitely inspire you as there are many types of Twitter users out there. And guess what? They would inspire you or trigger you to write shit about their ridiculous opinion!
I mean, anything that forces you to write, right?! 😛
5. Start socializing
Speaking of the prone of writers getting lonely, sometimes all you need when you get hit by writer's block is some human interactions. When was the last time you socialized with someone other than your cats?
If you can't remember the last time you hung out with your friends, then it's time to call them and see if you can arrange something, whether for a coffee or dinner. Rest assured, you'll get a new perspective on something after meeting them that may inspire you to write a new thing.
FAQ About Writer's Block
In this section, I'm going to list some questions that are apparently asked frequently by Google users. So, here are my two cents about some questions about dealing with writer's block!
Can drinking help with writer's block?
There's no need to run to alcohol when writer's block hits. While it may initially help you feel relaxed, it can also impair your judgment, decreasing your ability to write effectively. Besides, it's bad enough to feel uninspired to write, you don't want to add your problem with alcohol. That, unless you actually get paid to feature a drunken piece for work.
Is writer's block frustrating?
Writer's block is torture for writers. Not only you feel stuck as you're unable to make progress with your writing, it also triggers negative thoughts in your head that you start questioning your capabilities as a writer. This frustration can lead to anxiety, self-doubt and stop you from any progress at all.
But hey, it's just yet another challenge as a writer. After all, a job is a job. You may end up writing for a living because you used to love writing as a kid, but once you get money out of it, the pressure is there. But remember that it's not a reflection of your abilities as a writer, and you can always get up and start writing again.
I know it's hard to think positive when it hits, but try to see it as an opportunity to explore new ideas and strategies instead so when you go back with your creativity juice, you can awe your audience with fresh new content that also inspires them.
What helps with writer's block?
Acknowledging the core problems of your writer's block is the key to understanding what you need to overcome the challenge. Maybe you spend your days catching deadlines to write non-stop that you just get stuck when all you need is a break. Or maybe the core problem is more than that, like you get frustrated as the niche you write no longer excites you?
Taking a break and brainstorming with someone you can trust can help you decide what's best to do to help with your writer's block.
Writer's block is a common thing that hits writers. Sure it can be discouraging sometimes, but know that you're not the only one that suffers from this. When you find yourself stuck, remember that there are many ways to overcome it and come back as a better writer!
Whether you want to refresh your mind and take a break that you deserve or find more inspirations to channel your creativity, you can break through your writer's block and continue to develop your writing skills for the better.
The important thing is to embrace your writer's block with patience and self-compassion, as you rely so much on your self-confidence to keep going in this situation. Don't be too hard on yourself, and remember that we've all been there to face the challenges with our writing sometimes. Don't let this break you, keep on shining and cheerio! 😉
Marya The BeauTraveler
I am the founder and main editor at The BeauTraveler. I spent 4 years working in the aviation industry but ironically got to travel more right after quitting the industry in 2015. Born and raised in Indonesia, I started working remotely in 2017, and while I stay at home most of the time, I also regularly spend 2-3 months living a semi-digital nomad life elsewhere every year.