Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a classic Hollywood film that gave rise to many trends, and it is still making waves up until today. Audrey Hepburn made a statement with the little black dress by Givenchy. She popularized Moon River and even fought for the song to be included in the movie.
But no one who has seen this film will ever forget the scene where Geoge Peppard is consumed with typing on his typewriter, undergoing a severe case of writer’s block.
If you are a writer, you can certainly feel some empathy for George Peppard. We’ve all been in a position where we can’t write because of the lack of ideas or motivation. Nevertheless, we’re here to talk you out of it.
Here are 15 proven and effective ways to overcome your writing struggles.
1. Don’t be afraid
Easier said than done, but according to screenplay writers and other famous novelists, writer’s block doesn’t really exist. Such an idea was conceived to hide the main problem, and that is
. Nobody wants to be judged or criticized. For Jerry Jenkins, a New York Times bestselling author, fear can be converted into a form of motivation. But first, you have to acknowledge that fear.
Writing is about humility, and you have to know your limitations. Only by conquering your greatest fears can you unleash yourself from what’s blocking your creative flow. Be bolder than ever, and always remember that corrections and constructive criticisms are vital to your writing success.
2. Permit yourself to write garbage
Your initial draft will always be an utter disaster, especially when you lack ideas and inspiration, and have a deadline to consider. If ideas are not getting into you and the due date is looming, you have to do something. But what can you do when the lack of ideas and inspiration lead you to an empty space that allows fear to take over you?
Forcing yourself to write things that are somehow relevant to your piece can help. You have to remove your sense of perfection at that moment and start producing words even if you feel that what you are writing is trash. Silence the inner critic in you, and you’ll see that your initial draft is more useful than having nothing at all.
3. Write as simple as you can
Often, you want to see your work as close to perfection as possible, even when you are at the earliest stage of the writing process. You constantly reread your work and apply endless corrections, keeping you stuck in a repetitive cycle. Instead, try to write in a very simple manner by composing simple sentences and using simple words.
Make this simple beginning a way for you to produce amazing content. It is a misconception that using many complex lines and words adds value to the output. Remember that your reader should easily relate to what you have written, so try to get your point across in the fewest words possible. There is beauty in simplicity.
4. Avoid distractions and stop procrastinating
Have you ever experienced being so deep in the writing process, when something pops on your computer screen or you hear the notification buzzing on your phone, triggering you to check whatever it is to satisfy your curiosity?
It’s a trap! When you deal with this notification, you lose your sense of time and concentration. Once you get back to work, you will realize that you are out of the flow of your writing process.
You have to keep your phone out of your reach if you are eager to avoid distractions. Allot a time when you can read notifications or answer emails. Set reasonable goals, and allow yourself a break every so often.
5. Learn how to skip and concentrate on doing the rest
The most common issue in writing is getting stuck. If you’ve already done extra research and are still stuck, it is time to take a break. When you get back after that break, and you still have no clue what to write, then you know that it’s time for you to concentrate on other topics.
That is why an outline is essential. Once you are stuck, you can work on other parts that you’ve included in your outline. Working on other topics keeps you productive, and you will eventually gain momentum as you explore the greater depth of your composition.
According to Jordan Peele, an actor and filmmaker, you just have to follow the fun of writing. You and your computer can make a massive impact on society, so keep your fingers working!
6. Stay motivated
Go back to tip #3, and write as simply as you can. Even when you find these simple sentences mediocre, you can still utilize them for a greater purpose once you go back to check on your work!
Your motivation begins when you wake up in the morning. Rise with a smile on your face. Do stretches before you eat your breakfast and start your day with positivity. Think of the things that you will do. Having an organized schedule makes your life easier.
Then, always remind yourself of the things that keep you going in life. It can be your loved ones, your long-term goals, or the places where your pieces can bring you. Stay motivated and be extra-productive to turn your goals into reality.
One of the best tips for writers working from home is to have a comfortable and conducive space where you can write. Nothing is as motivating as writing in your comfort zone, so make the most out of it!
7. Make peace with your issues
Your personal issues can affect your writing process, and you might even feel demotivated because of them. Writing is a form of therapy, and you can translate your feelings into novels, poems, or articles. Life is boring without the problems and issues that make us wiser and more resilient in the end.
However, if you are writing something technical and having a rough time about the topic because of your personal baggage, you have no other choice but to muster all your energy and face your demons. Address your issues first, and get back to writing!
8. Build an effective writing process
Having healthy writing habits allows you to follow a smoother writing process. The research phase helps you to know more about the topic. When you’ve amassed enough information, you can create a well-structured outline.
The outline serves as the backbone of your process, and it gives you direction and the right angle for each part of what you are about to write. For example, the article about protecting your brand on Amazon has many headers that function as an outline.
There are writers out there who’ve included certain rituals in their process. When one of these rituals is not followed correctly, the writer tends to blame it for the lack of ideas.
It is really difficult to break beliefs that you’ve already programmed in your mind. It is a matter of discipline to keep going and to look for other ideas to continue the creative flow.
9. Take a break
If you are making money out of writing and following strict deadlines, having a break for 15 minutes to one hour is necessary. Working on your computer for long hours is not healthy, especially when running out of different ideas. Don’t force yourself too much. Having a break for a few moments allows your eyes and brain to rest.
Grab a snack, do some stretching, go out and have some fresh air, and talk to your loved ones. After doing these things, go back to work, and you will see a resurgence in your energy.
10. You can absolutely reconnect
Writer’s block disconnects you with your piece and the writing process. Take a break if you feel like it. But it is always your willpower that will dictate if you will continue writing later or tomorrow. Always choose to reconnect with your piece. You can go back to the beginning to see parts that should be deleted or which need improvement.
11. Have a deadline
Setting a deadline for whatever task you are doing means you are responsible for your commitment. Whether it is work or your personal commitment, it’s a good practice to set a due date when you have to let go of a specific task.
This also forces you to start your project as early as possible to prevent cramming. When you start early, you can have more time to review your work.
12. Write consistently
Aside from committing to a deadline, setting a word count per day will make your goal realistic. Achieving your daily word count gives you a sense of accomplishment, and it helps you to project whether or not you can meet the deadline.
Having a realistic projection of the number of words you have to reach in a specific period allows you to set a time for your breaks and other activities aside from writing.
As a writer, there are times when you run out of ideas. Sometimes, you feel stupid because you cannot think of a good angle and cannot find the right words for what you are trying to write. When you get into this situation, you tend to be hard on yourself. There are times when you want to cry because your brain is not totally working.
Hey, be patient and relax! Pamper yourself by eating your favorite snacks or taking a power nap. Do not force yourself too hard, and the ideas will come once your brain is in tip top condition again. Just be careful to not go overboard with your breaks, as you might fall out of the writing groove completely.
14. Remind yourself that your always in control
Various elements affect your creative flow, including the variables or characters you have in your narrative. Do not let them control you. As the writer, you are their master, and you have the power to manipulate them. You can always revise your outline and add or delete some points that will give you more interesting angles and ideas.
When you are experiencing writer’s block, you can always ask the people around you. For sure, they will have something to share that will give you more ideas. If you want professional advice, the help of an experienced editor is what you need.
Editors can share insights that will add value to your output. Furthermore, editors can also improve the flow of your narrative.
Every article or story you are writing is an opportunity to get better and be the best writer you can be. The comments and feedback that you receive from your editors or audience are valuable.
You have to digest them for you to prevent committing the same mistakes repeatedly and to grow. You can also watch videos and read articles that will reinforce and fortify your writing skills.
15. Ask someone else and keep on improving
Do not be afraid to write and convert your ideas into written words. Being afraid of criticism and judgment is normal, but you have to remind yourself that you will never grow unless you feel pain. Sometimes you even need to cry. Feeling all the pain will make you tougher along the process.
It is always okay to take a break, just don’t forget to reconnect with your piece and be a productive writer. Finally, work in a space where you are comfortable and always record your ideas—you can use these to further your writing.
Above you have 15 tips that will help you overcome writer’s block. Use these, get inspired, and start writing. You never know. You might even be the next Shakespeare or Hemingway!
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