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  • Writer's pictureMariaan Smit

Breaking Through the Block: My Personal Journey and Tips for Overcoming Writer's Block

I think this is a topic that most writers can relate to, maybe even you as a potential client. Perhaps you've found yourself wishing you didn't need to seek a writer's help, if only had the time to express your thoughts effortlessly. Writer's block is something that is very common, and I deal with it a lot more than I care to admit. In this blog, I will talk a bit about writer's block and my tips for overcoming this particular headache.

Writer's block is characterised by a temporary inability to produce new work or a lack of inspiration and creativity. It comes in different forms and definitely when we do not have the time for it. I have found it most hazardous when it comes at the start of a project and you just feel lost. Sometimes, no words seem right, and you find yourself deleting a sentence before you even finish it.

It could seem like the end, even though you have just begun. Then there is the writers block that kicks in at the middle or even close to the end of a book, triggered by your anxiety and fear. It could even be imposter syndrome that tries to sabotage all your hard work.

What I have realized after too many tears is that writer's block is normal and just as much a part of the process as writing the perfect sentence. It should not be able to destabilize you or throw you off course; do not give it the power to make you give up.

My tips for dealing with writer's block and how I overcome this hurdle daily are:

Let it Be - I know that sounds cliché, but really, if you can’t find the words, just get away from your desk and come back later. This can feel so hard to do, especially when a deadline is looming. You have to give yourself slack; we cannot be 100% all the time, and that is ok. Let it be, let it be, let it be. Are you singing that? Because singing also decreases stress levels. Wink. Wink. If you come back to your desk after taking a breather, however long needed, you will most likely have the mental clarity to get into the flow of writing again.

Routine and Environment - Listen, I am not one that likes to follow one routine every day, but in cases like these, when you have a big project to finish, this is crucial. Get a routine that works for you; each to their own. I always loved movies where the leading character was a writer; they would have these interesting, chaotic lives full of travel and fun, whipping their laptop out whenever they could squeeze in a moment. In real life, that might not be the case. To successfully kick writer's block’s ass, some consistency and discipline might be needed. Sure, to travel the world and still work is one of the perks of being a writer, but know your limits. A walk in the park with your furry friend might be just the thing you need to make the blues of writer's block evaporate.

Embracing Regular Pauses and Deep Breathing - I like to write, write, write like a maniac for hours until I am done. I have realized that this often results in completing loads of work just to get stuck again; it often leads to burnout, which then turns into writer's block, and the cycle continues. I make myself take breaks and, most of all, make time for exercise. Moving your body frequently is so good, not just for our bodies but mostly for our minds. We all know that stress is the biggest killer, the biggest culprit behind writer's block. Physical activity helps to lower the body's stress hormones; it also stimulates the production of endorphins, which is great. Exercise can enhance creativity and improve problem-solving skills. I like to exercise in a way that makes me feel good, like yoga or dancing; whatever helps boost your mood will definitely help with conquering the block.

Exploring New Creative Avenues - Creativity is a dam that never dries up, and when you truly believe this, you have already conquered any potential obstacle coming your way. I enjoy writing as a creative outlet, but sometimes when I am stuck, I need to step away from my computer and try something different. When writing becomes a job, it kind of loses its fun aspect, but that does not have to lead to writer’s block. Painting is something I do that helps my creativity get back into flow. I don’t try to think; I just splash colors on a canvas and call it fun. This is just one example of many creative things you can do for just the fun of it. By expressing creatively in all sorts of ways, you'll tap back into that unlimited pool of creative energy inside you. Once you realize that, you'll see writer's block just doesn't stand a chance against your inner fire

There are lots more tips on the internet available for how to kick writer’s block’s ass, but these are a few things I find useful. Writer's block is just anxiety with a mask, and if you are completely honest with yourself, you are the only person standing in your way towards finishing that project successfully. You can do anything you put your mind to, and I will always hold on to that. Learn to trust yourself, and forgive yourself, and so life will slowly become less dramatic and way more fun.



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