As a writer, procrastination can be a killer. Getting stuck in the dreaded writer’s block can make you lose confidence, and feel demotivated. To get inspiration and kickstart your creative process, try one of these 9 ways to find inspiration when you feel like you’ve hit a block.
Practice writing even when you don’t feel inspired
Practice writing even when you don’t feel inspired. You might think that practice makes perfect, but research shows that it also helps with skill acquisition, in part by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Some writers say that they have to write through the bad stuff in order to get to the good stuff later on, and while this may not be true for everyone, it’s worth giving it a try if it seems like something that would work for you.
Write someplace new
If you’ve been writing in your favorite coffee shop for the past six months and suddenly it doesn’t seem as inspiring anymore, try another location. If you usually write at home, head out into nature or go somewhere with lots of people around. If you usually write at work, go somewhere quiet or even bring your laptop into the bathroom.
Draw/doodle your thoughts and feelings as they come to you
I find that drawing can be really helpful when I’m stuck on something. If I’m having trouble coming up with an idea, I’ll grab my sketchbook and start doodling whatever comes to mind. This helps me get in touch with my creative side and lets me explore different options without feeling pressured or overwhelmed by what might happen if I mess up. I also love to use Procreate on my iPad.
Try reading out loud as a way to hear what you’ve written in a different way
You might find some words or phrases that sound awkward when read out loud, but look fine on the page. This can also help you gauge how others will respond to what you’ve written, which is often useful when deciding whether or not to keep something in your story.
Get away from the computer screen when you have writer’s block
Writer’s block usually happens when you’re sitting at your keyboard staring at a blank page. It might help to take a break for an hour or two and do something else entirely — anything that is not related to writing. Go for a walk outside if it’s nice out, or just browse the internet randomly for fun things that catch your eye. If nothing else, this will give your brain time to rest while still letting you have some sense of productivity without having to sit still staring at your computer screen all day long!
Be open to new experiences and new ideas
Find something exciting in everyday situations. Whether it’s seeing the sunrise or walking through the park, there are many things we take for granted every day that could inspire us if we look at them differently. This can help alleviate writer’s block. If you take time out of your day to appreciate these little moments, they’ll help keep your mind fresh and engaged so that when it comes time for writing again, it won’t feel like work!
Listen to music
Listen to music to gain writing inspiration. Music is such a powerful tool and can inspire so much creativity. If you’re having trouble getting started with a piece of writing, put on some good music and let it wash over you. It will help you find the right words and ideas for your piece.
Break the project down into tiny pieces and pick one part of it to work on at a time
If you’re having trouble starting or finishing an essay or blog post, try breaking down your topic into smaller chunks — say, five sentences each — and writing those sentences in order. Once they’re done, move on to the next step until you’ve completed your project.
Try stream of consciousness
When you have writer’s block, try stream of consciousness. Write whatever comes into your head. Don’t worry about how it sounds or how it looks on the page; just let your writing flow freely from your brain onto the paper or screen. You might be surprised at what comes out!
Writer’s block is temporary, so don’t stress too much when you hit a wall, just grab a cup of coffee and some headphones and you’ll think of something soon enough!