Here’s What I do When I Have ‘Writers Block’
A few ways to get your mind back into creative mode
‘Writers block’ is an all too common phrase we keep hearing about in the writing world. It definitely exists out there, there’s no denying that. It’s something that every writer faces from time to time. It’s only the methods of dealing with it and getting over it without letting it interfere with too much with our lives that differs. While different things might work for different people, there are a few that largely work for all.
Here are a few activities you can do to take your mind off things when you feel those words just aren’t flowing the way they used to before:
- Go on a hike, a really long one: Trekking and being immersed in the natural world have always enabled me to remove my writers block and become a much better writer. Forest bathing refreshes and rejuvenates me and when I am done with a trek, I feel like I am ready to take on all the challenges of the world. Trekking is therapeutic, restorative, and helps one restore their connection to the natural world. Trekking not only cures a writers block but also helps reset the body clock, which enables you to maintain a much more practical routine. If you’ve been a late sleeper or a groggy riser, and have found out that the quality of your work has been suffering due to this, spending just a week in the woods is bound to do wonders. Give it a try!
- Exercise: It is a well known fact that even short bursts of HIIT exercise helps in releasing endorphins and happiness boosting chemicals in the brain. This is not only good for long term health but also helps the brain unwind from the daily monotony of life. It is definitely one of the best ways to remove a writers block. It’s only when we don’t stress and obsess over the content required for an article all day long that bouts of insight can occur. You cannot have moments of insight when you have a monkey mind that is constantly jumping from one thought to another. A calm, meditative frame of mind is essential for quiet contemplation, one of the most valuable tools for a creative content writer. This is imperative if you want to come up with high quality content for your articles. Sometimes, the best moments of insight do not come on a 5 minute Kilometre sprint training for an upcoming marathon. A brisk but gentle walk might also do the trick. Your body is not the same everyday, and neither should you be. A monotonous fitness routine also lulls your mind and body into a comfort zone, setting you right back where you first began. Mix it up, change at least one thing about your fitness routine every week, and then see the difference.
- Cooking: I’ve personally found cooking to be as therapeutic and relaxing as other effort-intensive activities when it comes to unwinding after a long day. The deliberate, slow, and meandering movements, as well as the presence of mind involved while cooking helps slow down a hurried and anxious mind for a much needed ‘good nights rest’ (remember, we’ve all read somewhere, it’s the quality of sleep that matters, not just the quantity). Combine this with some light reading during bed time, and you are all set to dive into the next day head on with some quality content. It also helps in taking your mind briefly off the very project you’ve been tasked to complete within a short time frame. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but it works.
- Take full advantage of brain boosting foods: The plant world is loaded with mentally stimulating cognition boosting foods. You can take full advantage of this wide arsenal of brain stimulants from nature that are healthy and come with almost no side effects. A brief list of such foods can be found here: https://viva.org.uk/health/how-a-vegan-diet-can-improve-cognitive-health/
- Reading: Reading is the perhaps the best way to cure a writers block, as there is no pressure to put words to paper. You are just a spectator and observer when you read, as compared to writing. Your brain is in its calmest state, and this greatly helps it unwind and reconcile all the days memories. It is this process of reconciliation that helps one generate new ideas and topics on which to write. Besides, you’re also absorbing a lot of new information and learning new words while reading. You are bound to be struck by an “aha” moment while reading as your creative brain is still working in the background. Take a break while reading something of your interest and see if the moment of insight occurs to you.
- Travelling: Akin to reading, travelling also puts the brain into a calm and observational state as you are just a passenger and spectator of the world around you. Again, since there is absolutely no pressure to perform, the creative part of your brain is silently working in the background, generating new ideas and content from all that it has stored. I’ve got some amazing streaks of insight, as well as “aha” moments while just sitting and staring out of bus windows, admiring all the mountains and countryside villages on the way to my treks.
- Caffeine and Nootropics: While caffeine has always been around, nootropics are all the rage nowadays. Manufacturers are micro dosing mental stimulants with coffee for their customers to beat lethargy, enhance cognitive performance, improve their attention spans, and achieve a new level of mental focus and clarity. However with Nootropics, one starts to cross into the realm of drugs and psychoactive substances. According to me, this really isn’t necessary unless the stakes are that high. Caffeine is a psychoactive substance as it is, so we really don’t want to be playing around with too many substances inside our heads all at the same time just to get a few more words, or the right words, on paper. Nootropic coffee has worked for me on occasion, and sometimes, it just hasn’t. As it is with everything else, do your due diligence.
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There’s ton of different ways to overcome writers block. However, there are some methods out there that are much more effective and speedy in clearing your head. Not everyone can afford the time, money, or energy to implement all the methods of clearing writers block. Most content writers are either chained to their desks by their employers and deadlines, or chained to their home workstations by financial desperation, and not everyone has the agency to implement all of the methods mentioned above.
If there’s a speedy method to clear writers block right from the comfort of your very own home office, I’d like to know it. Do let me know in the comments bar to the side.
Legal Disclaimer: This blog is suggestive in nature and not a prescription to cure any kind of illness that you may have. I have only listed down some of the methods of overcoming writers block which have worked for me in the past. I will not be held responsible for any kind of incidents that may or may not occur should you choose to follow the above mentioned advice and achieve/not achieve the desired results. This blog is informative in nature not a substitute for expert medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for advice on how you can overcome writers block.