WRITER'S BLOCK. Every writer deals with this from time to time. It's easy to feel stuck and doubt our writing whenever it strikes, but what if every time you felt your creative well running dry, there were practical steps you could take to refuel yourself? Writer's Block usually hits me when I'm low on mental energy and inspiration. In this post, I'll share the THREE-STEP PROCESS I like to call the Reflect Refresh Renew Method. This exercise has pulled me out of writing ruts many times, and I hope it can do the same for you!
STEP ONE | REFLECT
The first step to overcoming Writer's Block is finding the root problem. Take some time to reflect on why you may be experiencing a low.
Are you burnt out and lacking the energy to move forward? Are you losing motivation and love for your story? Or are feelings of fear or perfectionism holding you back?
Take a break from your writing to dig for and identify the things that are uninspiring you. If you know what's causing your problem, you can begin to take steps toward eliminating it. Whenever I fall into a writing rut, it helps me to process and ponder by journaling, listening to music, or going for a quiet walk.
STEP TWO | REFRESH
Think of your creativity as a cup. To continue pouring from this cup, we must take the time to fill it. Once you've recognized the issue that's contributing to your writer's block, it's time to get reinspired! What are the things that have been unmotivating and draining to you? If applicable, remove as many of them as possible, and let go of the things that distract and drag you down.
The things we feed our minds, bodies, and spirits directly impact our creativity. Because of this, we need to be careful with what we allow into our creative processes. Choose to surround yourself with words and content that are inspiring to you.
Only you can fully understand your situation and triggers, so only you can find the best way to refill yourself. However, I've compiled a few ideas that have HELPED ME nourish my creativity and break out of The Cycle of Stuckness.
Sometimes you need to take a break. For ten minutes (or however long you need to refuel). CONFESSION: This is hard for me because I tend to fall into the overproductive I-have-to-get-everything-done-on-time-or-the-world-is-going-to-end mindset. But I'm slowly learning that rest in healthy amounts is a good thing. For me, it's often the best thing. Productivity can become very toxic very fast when it becomes our sole focus. Maybe you just need time to take a nap, make another cup of tea, or whatever else you do to find relaxation. Trust me (from the little experience I've had in this area *cringe*), you'll return to your project feeling refreshed, energized, and inspired.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
This one is vital for keeping your body healthy and functioning, and it's another area that I see a lot of writers neglect (myself included) when goals and productivity take center stage. Learn to slow down and ask yourself: What do I need right now? How can I nourish and take better care of myself? You will write with SO much more confidence and clarity if you put the time and intention into this, I PROMISE.
MAKE AESTHETIC BOARDS
I'm not going to rant about how much I love making Pinterest boards for my book because we would be here all day (and I'm sure you have more important things to do than reading my rambles). HOWEVER, making vision boards filled with quotes and images that remind you of your scene and characters can be an awesome way to get inspired SUPER FAST.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
If you've been here for 2 seconds, you know I'm just a little obsessed with making playlists. Music helps me process my thoughts and ideas and sets an atmosphere that helps me get in the right headspace. Long story short, I NEED MUSIC.
Maybe you're the same way.
The next time you need inspiration, try making a playlist that reminds you of your story. Even if you don't write with music playing in the background, listening to it while you're not working can be a great source of motivation. (Unless you abhor music of any kind and refuse to listen to it. In that case, I don't know what to tell you.)
OTHER HELPFUL POSTS ON WRITING:
STEP THREE | RENEW
This is the final (and most effective) step I take toward conquering Writer's Block. Sometimes, I don't need more external inspiration. What I need is an internal change of perspective. This has been a GAME CHANGER because it allows me to overcome any negative mental blocks that hold me back. What are some of the mentalities and beliefs that have been limiting your creativity? How can you renew your outlook? Here are a few things that have helped me do just that:
LET GO OF EXPECTATIONS
Sometimes we project our past experiences and feelings onto our writing. I often idealize how my writing day should look and end up disappointed when it doesn't turn out how I wanted it to. But the truth is, we never know what the day will hold for us. Sometimes, our writing sessions won't be ideal, and that's okay. I've found so much freedom in learning to cultivate a fresh outlook each time I write. The past is past, so just because you had a negative experience the last time you wrote doesn't mean that will be the case this time. And you never know, this could be the BEST writing day ever.
REMEMBER WHY YOU LOVE WRITING
Whenever discouragement and procrastination hit me, it always helps to remind myself of my why. Writing is hard, and it's easy to let feelings of intimidation take over. BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY. Writing is an art, and a journey. It's not supposed to be perfect or intimidating. It's supposed to be fun.
So ask yourself: Why do I love writing? How can I make this experience into something I enjoy doing? Remembering why you started writing in the first place will take away the pressure and allow you to delight in the process.
CHOOSE TO WRITE ANYWAYS
Learn to decipher true Writer's Block from procrastination and fear. Take a break if need be, but don't let that become an automatic reaction to, "I feel stuck, so I run away." Sometimes the only way to break past low motivation is to outright defy it. When discouragement hits, when you feel like you're making zero progress, and when you're afraid everything you put down on paper is terrible... Write. Anyways.
I know how intimidating Writer's Block can be. When you're in the moment, it's HARD to press past it, but don't let a fleeting emotion stop you from pursuing your dream.
Write one word. Now write another... and another... and yet another. Now you have a sentence. Write another sentence. And while you have your document open, you might as well type up another, right? Pretty soon, you'll have a paragraph, and that paragraph will turn into a chapter, and that chapter will — YOU GET MY POINT. Just write! The only thing stopping you from doing so is your limiting beliefs.
There you are, my friend! Those are my best tips for conquering Writer's Block and boosting inspiration. I hope they work amazingly for you and help you tackle your story again!
How do you remedy writer's block? Do you love to make aesthetic playlists and vision boards for your stories? What are some books and movies that have inspired your writing? How do you nourish your creativity? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!