Not everyone believes in writer’s block, but the underlying symptom—ideas and words that suddenly don’t play nicely together—is experienced by even the most prolific writers from time to time. And in my experience, how you deal with it is what makes the difference between being afflicted or just mildly bothered.
One of the better bits of advice I’ve seen about this comes courtesy of 43folders. I’ve been keeping it handy in my ideas folder on my desk, but blogging about it just makes so much more sense.
Let me add a few more tips and elaborate on at least one that they mention:
Cut and paste some text. Find something—anything—and drop it into the document you’re working on. It’s often easier to develop a thought when it’s couched in text rather than a couple of lonely sentences orphaned on an otherwise blank screen.
Write for an audience of six-year olds who had sugar for breakfast, because kids are among the most unforgiving when it comes to buzwords and wordiness. You’ll get to the point in a hurry.
Write something else. On a bad day, I find email is especially helpful because it gets me sitting down and typing. Sometimes all we need is a little push to get the momentum working again.
Go have a shower. I’m being serious, here. Not only will you feel better, but it’s where some of the best ideas can pop into your head. Maybe it’s the isolation and the white walls around you. Who knows? But it works. Heck, Holiday Inn is so convinced of this, they’ve turned this idea into a benefit of choosing them for accomodation for business travel.
Go somewhere else. Grab your notebook—be it one with a pencil or one with a keyboard attached—and get out of the office. Go to the backyard, to a park, or go to a place that offers free wifi. Grab yourself a large cup of something, and then take another kick at the can. Some of my best copywriting ideas have come knocking just by making a change to my thinking environment.
Have some of your own failsafe tips about what to do with the creative turns from warm honey to cold molasses? By all means share!