Overcoming Writer's Block

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Tips for overcoming writer's block.

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  • Start with what you know – don’t just sit there and look at a blank screen, skip the intro sentence/lead and start where you feel the most preparedForget about being perfect, just write – if you’re stuck don’t worry about editing as you go, just write and then go back later to clean it upGet your blood moving – get up from your desk andgo for a walk around the building, jog or go to the gym and get your blood moving through your body and to your brain to get your creative juices flowingChange your surroundings – if you’ve got a laptop make a run to Starbucks or the park, maybe even more to another part of the office; for your best writing, you need focus, and if you go somewhere with the sole intention of getting one piece of writing done, you’ll be productive as you’ll leave the distractions such as your phone or email (don’t bring your iPhone) at your usual place of work.Unplug the Internet – get off Facebook or Twitter, don’t check your e-mail; remove the distractions of the Internet so it isn’t an excuse to not focusListen to some music – music can be highly inspirational, probably something instrumental like classical or jazz is best because words could distract you
  • Start where you’re stuck first thing in the morning - Don’t start reading emails/checking voicemail and go into reaction mode – be proactive in tackling your writing.  You can actually get you best work done if you start with the most complex and work your way to the easier stuffEat healthy food and snacks - Your brain requires proper nourishment to function at optimal levels.  Load up on protein, foods rich in antioxidants, juices, fresh fruits and nuts, vegetables, and smoothies – you’ll not only feel better, your writing will be stronger as that generally reflects your mood (whether you’re conscious of it or not).File it for later - If it’s not due soon, sometimes the best thing to do is to work on other things and ponder your approach.  The angle you’d like to take may hit you in the middle of the night and your block on that project may end itself naturally, before you get frustrated.Get some coffee - This is a quick solution if you don’t have time to exercise.  Despite what they say, caffeine is a great boost and will stir your mind.  Just make sure what you’re working on is the only thing open while you sip your coffee so you actually work on that project (many people tend to multi-task after coffee).Don’t force it – Don’t try to force writing when you’re truly stuck.  The outcome is the same in both cases – frustration.  If you really can’t get writing and you’ve tried everything it may just not be your day.  And that’s okay, no one can be successful with creative tasks every day…it may be a day to focus on a more techincal project.Read some blogs/articles/books outside the scope of what you normally write -Reading material in the genre of what you’re planning to write can actually make writers block worse, as it gives you the feeling everything has already been said.  What helps more is to read content from people/subjects not in your field, as they see the world from a different perspective and will help you get inspired to write something unique.
  • Go back and read your journal or diary – it might help get your thoughts goingKeep a notepad with you - An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Coming up with compelling ideas to write about is sometimes the hardest challenge of all.  “idea pad” can build up a reserve of good topics to draw upon as you need them.  You’re working proactively to prevent idea blocks in your writing.  Inspiration usually strikes when you’re not near your desk or actively working on things anyway, all creatives need to carry a digital or analog method of jotting down ideas. – for our blogWrite daily - Just like someone who is out of shape could not run a mile in a respectable amount of time, someone who doesn’t write frequently will not be able to produce successful writing in a timely manner.  You have to train your body to run, just like you must train your brain to write.  And you become a faster runner and more proficient writer through repeated practice and perseverance.Try taking a nap – If you’re tired, you’re more likely to suffer writer’s block than if you’re well rested.  Seven hours of sleep a night is minimum in my mind for optimum levels of successful brain-processing, however if you need to get through your writer’s block ASAP sometimes a quick nap will reset your brain.  Try the caffeine nap – it is scientifically proven to work. The Caffeine Nap is simple: you drink a cup of coffee and immediately take a 15-20 minute nap. Researchers found coffee helps clear your system of adenosine, a chemical which makes you sleepy. The combination of a cup of coffee with an immediate nap chaser provided the most alertness for the longest period of time in tests. The recommendation was to nap only 15 minutes, no more or less and you must sleep immediately after the coffee.Cook a meal or do something you enjoy – take your mind of the task at hand for a little while and come back fresh
  • To get over a hump, pretend you've just called your best friend with a juicy piece of news, and start the conversation with, “Guess what?”From there the story will follow a natural progression: the most interesting stuff at the head, with a natural unfolding of detail, ending with a bring-it-on-home kicker.Make a message map – start with the main point you know and then draw a circle around it… give yourself 2-3 minutesOutline it - Don’t have anything down yet?  No worries – just write the main points.  Outlining your writing will break it up into easily manageable chunks.  If you decide a section doesn’t work, you can always kill it later.  It’s always easy to fill in the missing parts than stare at a blank screen.Free writing – just start writing about anything, your day, your dog, whatever, then get to the topic your writing about and see if it starts to flow
  • Overcoming Writer's Block

    1. 1. OVERCOMING WRITER’S BLOCK Team Training Corey Lark December 6, 2011
    2. 2. TIPS•Start with what you know, stop thinking•Forget about being perfect, just write•Get your blood moving•Change your surroundings•Unplug the Internet•Listen to some music
    3. 3. TIPS•Start where you’re stuck first thing in themorning•Eat healthy food and snacks•File it for later•Get some coffee•Don’t force it•Read some blogs/articles/books outsidethe scope of what you normally write
    4. 4. TIPS•Read your journal or diary•Keep a notepad with you•Write daily•Try taking a nap•Cook a meal or do something you enjoy
    5. 5. EXERCISES•“Guess what?” o Dont sit there staring at the monitor. Phone a friend!•Make a message map•Outline it•Free writing
    6. 6. What are some ways that you overcome writer’s block?

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