If you are a writer, you know that there are times when the words won’t come. You sit in front of your
computer, your notebook, a blank sheet of loose-leaf paper, and you don’t write a thing. You play with
sentences in your head or cannot form any at all and you feel frustrated. You need to write a paper or
the next chapter of your book, but you’ve accomplished nothing. This is a struggle that every writer
faces at least once, if not often, but the key to overcoming writer’s block is not giving up.
Writing is hard, and when the words you want to say will not come together, it’s tempting to give up. You may bargain with yourself, thinking “I’ll try again tomorrow,” but then tomorrow comes and the cycle repeats itself. In order to defeat writer’s block, you have to write something. This may seem like a useless solution because writer’s block is what prevents us from writing in the first place. However, getting words out onto the page is what powers us through it. Often, we get stuck when we cannot put together the perfect sentences. The words will not come together how we want them to and this exasperates us when we are looking for perfection.
When we write despite the material feeling amateur at best, we are working through the block in our
minds. Jotting down ideas is better than having nothing to show for your writing session. And even if
you haven’t accomplished a final draft yet, it is a lot easier to go through rough work and edit it rather
than start from scratch. You may just find that some of your rough work turned out better than you
thought it did the first time around.
While this advice can definitely help you start or continue working through a writing session that has
been delayed by writer’s block, there are times when you need to take a break. If you have been writing
for a substantial amount of time and you begin to feel fatigued (or that your brain has turned to mush),
taking a break is essential. Step away from your work and let your mind relax in whatever way is most
effective for you. Perhaps you like to watch an episode of your favorite show, eat a snack, play a mobile
game, or just lay back for a while. The important thing is to allow yourself to decompress and stop
thinking about your writing. When you take time for this, you come back to your work feeling recharged
and ready to continue.