How I deal with writer’s block

Writer's blockIt’s every blogger’s worst enemy: writer’s block. While many pros have already dealt with the subject since blogging began, those tips and tutorials have been more of a guide for other bloggers.

Simply because each and every blogger experience writer’s block in a different way and in different contexts.

In this post, I’d like to share my own tricks in dealing with writer’s block.

1. Stop reading or gathering data.

Before I write blog posts or anything, I usually do a lot of research on the topic and anything related to it. The problem is, I get so engrossed in reading and finding more references I end up spending more time that is necessary for this phase of the writing process.

The end result is information overload. I’m overburdened with so much information it leads to information paralysis. When that happens, I simply clear the desktop of all windows and take a breather.

2. Get distracted

Some pros’ have said that distractions are one of the common causes of writer’s block. Well I agree and disagree. I agree that chatting with friends, that latest viral video on YouTube or game on Facebook can really get in the way of your writing and drain your creative juices, and disagree because there are occasions when it worked for me.

Usually when I’m having an information overload and paralysis, I hit YouTube and simply watch something funny or interesting and totally unrelated to the topic of what I was writing about. Or I read a comic book, Pugad Baboy ((It is a popular comic strip by PM Junior that a satire on Filipino culture.)) is lifesaver. Put on the Eraserheads. One of the best distactions to help clear your mind, playing with your kid.

3. Free writing

Since last week, I’ve been using onepageperday.com, it’s a free web typewriter that encourages you to write anything you like as long as you finish a whole page’s worth or around 500 words. It’s the very first web site I visit after getting out of bed because that’s time that my writing powers are at their most creative and powerful. Words are just gushing out of my mind.

It sets the tone for the day that I am ready and confident about writing. Another good thing about onepageperday.com is that three of my recent essays were spawned from within its pages.

Distraction-free writing apps like JDarkRoom or FocusWriter also fit this job perfectly if prefer to keep your raw pieces more private and secure.

4. Grab a bite

It was back in high school that I learned that working on anything with an empty stomach is not only bad to your health, it’s bad for your work. A sandwich, a cup of coffee or a handful of nuts while you’re working on your PC can certainly help the creative juices flowing ((A 24-hour convenience store is a lifesaver if there’s nothing enticing in the fridge)).

5. Just walk away

When the draft has turned into your enemy or your mind is simply in brain dump, one of the most effective solution is to simply drop everything, get up from your chair and walk away from your desk or PC.

Go out of the office, your room, cubicle just, just leave. A few minutes outdoors would do wonders to refresh your mind and body. If you have the wheels or public transport nearby, hop on and take a ride. The change of surroundings will do you great.

This has been my routine ever since I adopted the 30-30 minute work flow. Once my first 30 minutes of work is up, I spend the next 30 minutes of break time to play with my daughter, take a walk outside the house or like what I’ve said earlier, grab something to eat.

You’d refreshed and ready to hit the keys once you’ve come back.

That’s about it. These are the common things I do to get around writer’s block. Hope it has helped and if you have other tricks, do share them please.

Bonus trick:

Write about writer’s bloc

It’s fighting fire with fire I suppose. Just like this post. Now on to the next one!

Image by re_birf Creative Commons

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