11 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block
By Nicole Klunder
Have you wondered why you come up blank? Has a publisher recently rejected you? Lack of time and energy getting to you? Are you questioning your entire identity as a creative? All three? More? You may be struggling with writer’s block—a condition where an author can’t produce new work or their creativity shuts down. It may feel like an impossible task to continue writing words, but don’t worry.
Take a step back.
I’ve got some tips on how to pull you out of your rut!
Journal and Planner
I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys journaling daily. There are tons of different types of journals with a variety of trackers, coloring and charts among daily and monthly planning that sets you up for the year.
Also, I found that Julie Cameron’s “Morning Pages” really helps in those tough moments. Whether it is one page or three, jotting down feelings, uncensored, and not to be read over, eventually, something will break through. I use both journals, and I turn to them when I need to re-evaluate.
Create Smaller Tasks and Short-Term Goals
Writing related journals can make a tremendous impact. Logging your progress on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis can provide a visual for you. It keeps you going, and it is a clear record of your progress. It just takes some time and dedication. Baby steps.
Plan a Time and Create Habits
Whether it be 10 minutes or a half hour. Start small at first. Put your phone down and do it! I noticed that I was getting distracted easily from day to day. I didn’t focus enough on what I wanted to accomplish and we all know that time is everything! Focus on the fact that we have plenty of time in front of us, it’s just a matter of using it to the best of our abilities and not be wasteful with it.
Try Writing Prompts Weekly
These can be fun! I choose not to have “writer’s block” in my vocabulary. I feel there is always something you can write. Writing prompts for me helps with the practice of writing. I’m teaching myself to write from the ground up. I have a few unfinished pieces but it gets me to create, play with new ideas, themes, words and different types of characters. It helps me focus on what my abilities are as a new writer. One example is I used a prompt of just two words, and I ended up with a 2000 word story of a Halloween theme romance. That is very exciting as we have the fall season coming upon us very soon! And Halloween is my favorite!
Make a Priority to Read Daily
I find inspiration in my reading sessions. I recently touched poetry and horror and had a whole new vision. You can too! Maybe change up what you are reading. From a new author to genre to novels, short stories or flash fiction, there is a lot out there.
Diversify Your Writing Portfolio
That means using other hobbies to help your writing. I often restart my creative process by focusing my attention on something else, even if I am just journaling, doing research, or editing someone else’s writing. When I return to the original project, I can see it clearer.
Meditate Every Day
Dedicating time to this can really center you and you can reap so many benefits aside from writer’s block. This was another way I “found myself” and pushed forward toward my own writing journey. Power down the TV and phone earlier or designate certain days of the week if your schedule is tight. Whether it’s ten minutes in the morning or evening or a half hour, set time aside to yourself. Sit and clear your mind. Using music can help too. Get centered!
Commit to 3-5 Days of Exercise per Week
Get active! Getting the blood flowing in your body can help with clearing the mind. The most important thing is to do what you love! Whether it be a cardio session, hike, bike ride, yoga, or a high-intensity workout, you will feel refreshed! Those scenes might even come to you then!
How you feel comes directly from what you put in your body, every meal, every day. Log your food and drink choices in a journal for tracking food and mood. Make changes accordingly.
Start in the Middle
Or just add a chapter or scene to the story you’re creating. I often write like this. I do not always know what I will work on next because I just focus on the writing and getting it on paper. Later, you can put it in order and really design your world and plot. We all have different approaches to this. I feel less pressure this way. Do what works with your schedule. I tend to create a rough outline of ideas for settings, random scene ideas and quotes, and then get to writing. Whatever strikes me, I JUST WRITE!
Optimize Your Toolkit
Continue learning the craft by taking classes, refreshing skills, or joining critique groups. It can reset your mind and inspire you to write more or something completely different. Connect! The sky has no limit. I have joined three critique groups and show up for any presentations and learning they provide. I can always learn and grow that way. It helps motivate me and gives that can-do attitude.
Don’t beat yourself up. Be kind. Give yourself a break and have faith. It will come back.
Written by Nicole Klunder
Nicole Klunder is originally from Long Island, New York. In 2007, her and her husband of 17 years decided to embark on an adventure and move out to the west coast for the warm sunny climate and an outdoor lifestyle.
If she is not working at her day job or freelancing as a makeup artist in the bridal industry, you can find her on her downtime enjoying the gym, pole fitness, hiking, traveling, skiing, camping and hitting the bike trails with her husband anywhere in the mountains.
On her personal free time, she loves healthy cooking including recreating recipes, watercolor painting, drawing, and sketching, reflective journaling, reading mostly romance but open to anything to inspire her and her most passionate project, writing fiction. From a new short story to stories she is working on, to simple prompts and exercises or journaling, she dedicates time to her new passion. Every single day! Because that is what it takes for success!