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Find the Right Words: Eight Ways to Break Writer’s Block

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There’s nothing more frustrating to a writer than writer’s block. You strain your brain to make something happen, but nothing comes out. You’re out of ideas. And it seems like there’s nothing you can do to fix the situation.

Sometimes the words just won’t come, and staring at a blank page just makes you more frustrated. Don’t throw your hands up in surrender. Here are eight easy ways to break down the wall of writer’s block and find your voice again.

Take a Break
Sometimes overworking your brain can make it just shut down. Surf the Internet. Watch your favorite show. Take a nap. Anything to give your mind a little break. You could even try relaxing yourself through meditation. Find a quiet place in your home or office and do some deep-breathing exercises. The less pressure and stress you put on the brain, the more your mind can get creative.

Listen to Music
A good way to relax yourself is to listen to music. Pick songs that are low-key and filled with meaningful lyrics. Listen to the lyrics and see if any ideas start flowing. If you think more upbeat, energetic music will inspire you to write, blast some of that—but use headphones if you share an office! Music stimulates the brain and gets the creative juices flowing again.

Sometimes, constructing an entire sentence, paragraph, or page in your head can be overwhelming. Start small. Write down a random word or thought. Then, start writing every word or phrase that comes to mind when you look at that word. This exercise will not only jog the brain, but—if you keep yourself loosely focused on the topic at hand—it can produce some solid ideas.

Have a Snack
Sometimes writer’s block is caused by something as simple as the brain not having enough nutrients to function correctly. Make sure you’re properly fed when you sit down to write. If you find your stomach rumbling while you’re hard at work, try making yourself a snack that combines carbs and protein. Carbs will give you the initial jolt your brain needs, while the proteins will help you maintain that energy throughout the day.

Go for a Walk/Jog
Exercise can release endorphins that not only make you happy and energetic but are known to help make the brain function better. If you are stuck for words, strap on your running shoes and head outside for a quick job. If you need something even faster or with less impact, do some jumping jacks in front of your computer or sit-ups on your bedroom floor. Stuck at work? Take a walk around the block a few times to get the blood pumping.

Pick up a Book
Reading can be the best way to get into the writing mood. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a classic novel; pick anything you enjoy reading. Reading stimulates the language part of the brain—which is exactly the part you need for writing. It can also give you inspiration about vocabulary, tone, and flow.

Do Something that Inspires You
If you love to cook, get in the kitchen and start working. If you love to draw, break out your sketchbook. Creativity often breeds creativity. Exercising one part of your brain can also help stimulate other parts of your brain, so try to do something that’s completely different from writing.

Just Start Writing
One of the most common cures for writer’s block is to get something, anything down on paper. It sounds difficult when you have a block, but just writing whatever comes to mind can get you putting your ideas on paper and help your brain make sense of things. Even if it’s just a stream of consciousness, you can go back and edit it later. The point is to break the block by forcing your brain to forge ahead.

Remember, writing is both creative and functional. It can tax the brain heavily, so make sure you are taking plenty of breaks and feeding your brain what it needs. Try these tips, and you should be writing again in no time!

By Jeff Hindenach for Excelle


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