Sometimes it isn’t easy to be creative. As a freelance writer, I do have my days where it takes longer than usual to get started. In fact, it is sometimes on those days when my productivity takes a dip and I struggle with completing articles. There are also days where I find myself staring at the glow of a blank document file on my computer.
For some writers, this occurrence happens far too often. In fact, ‘dry spells’ as most of us like to call them, can be the sign of something more serious. Formally identified as ‘writer’s block,’ the inability to tap into those creative juices flowing around in our brains can be problematic. It can actually become so debilitating that some writers will quit writing.
However, there are several ways to keep the mind active enough to fight off the early signs of writer’s block so that it only becomes a short dry spell. Here are some of the ways in which I crush writer’s block in my writing services:
1. Get Some Fresh Air
I have done this for years. When I worked in an studio setting, I would simply get out of my chair and go outside. I do the same when I work from home. If I find myself staring at the blank document file for too long, it’s my cue to walk away from the computer. Often I’ll just go for a short walk for some fresh air. It could be something as simple as a stroll around the block.
What seems to work for me when I do this is that my senses get stimulated in different ways. I’m seeing things, hearing sounds I don’t hear in my studio and smell other scents that trigger my brain to focus on anything other than writing for a short period of time. Once I get back to my computer, I feel refreshed and often I can break through that block and start writing.
2. Take A Day Off
One of the most effective ways I have found to beat dry spells in my writing is to take an unscheduled day off. What this actually does is it removes any of the pressure I may have been feeling subconsciously about any particular project. With it not looming overhead on a writing day, I can relax. Typically I am an expert at keeping and meeting deadlines.
However, there are situations where fudging a deadline allows for a break. Maybe I’ve had a heavy workload for a few days or weeks and just don’t feel that creative spark. Taking a day off to do anything other than writing gives me a nice recharge so I can tackle unfinished projects the next day. Usually I am stoked to get at it when I return to my computer.
3. Do Something Else Creative
Aside from writing, I have many hobbies. There are times when I hit a wall and just can’t seem to get my words to flow. So instead of trying to fight my way through it, I will reach for one of my other interests and focus on that for a couple of hours or more. In my case, I like to pursue physical activities because of how they tend to assist with beating dry spells.
My preferred choices are playing a round or two of golf or time on the tennis courts with my girlfriend. I may head to the gym sometimes for a workout which clears my mind. Sometimes I will explore other creative hobbies by working on projects related to web design or developing my skills through YouTube videos and blogs. Or I’ll just stop and make a cup of coffee.
4. Relax, Don’t Stress Out
As I mentioned already, I’m pretty good with deadlines. In fact, as a freelance writer I find that I typically have several different deadlines in place on any given week. With detailed notes and scheduling I am able to keep it all in order. But there are times when a few projects come due at about the same time and I feel additional pressure to get all of the work done on time.
This can sometimes turn into a stressful situation. The stress can trigger writer’s block which then amplifies the pressure. So, what I will do is check my schedule daily and plan accordingly. It means setting priorities and deep breathing exercises when I feel the pressure building. A short break to close my eyes and calm down is often the cure I need in order to move on.
5. Manage The Workload
Probably one of the most important things I do in order to avoid writer’s block has to do with the amount of work I do. While freelance writing does give me flexibility with my time and life, I do also have to keep a handle on my limits. Once I was able to determine what kind of workload I could carry effectively, I use that as a guide with all of my freelance customers.
I’ll do this because I know that if I get overloaded with writing jobs, the stress level may increase. With an increase of stress, it tends to trigger writer’s block in my head. So, the whole idea behind managing my workload is pacing. I can easily keep a steady pace but require breaks and time off as part of that cycle. It works very well for me and keeps my writing on point.
Try These Tips To Crush Your Writer’s Block
While I understand that writer’s block affects everyone differently, maybe one of my tips can help you if you have tried all kinds of tricks on your own. I categorise the 5 above-noted suggestions under something I like to call ‘brain breaks.’ That’s because you are essentially giving the writing part of your brain a rest and exercising other parts of it.
I know that by taking these steps it has kept me on track with my freelance writing and has possibly even enhanced some of my creativity. My name is Toni Marino and I am a freelance SEO consultant and freelance writer. I can assist you with your online profile in many different ways. Contact me today to find out how my services can help your business or brand.