Writer’s block usually stems from one of two things, a lack of inspiration, or a lack of motivation.
If you have inspiration and motivation, but just not enough energy to write (because you’ve been typing your butt off for the past few months) then you’re burnt out. In which case, my blog post on How to Deal with Writing Burnout should help you.
If you’re not burnt out, but instead have a lack of inspiration or motivation to write, keep reading. Here are 8 ways to overcome writer’s block:
Find Inspiration to Write
There are multiple ways to find inspiration, all of them valid, and it all depends on your creative flow.
Many writers find that reading books gives them inspiration. After all, many writers decided to become writers because of a certain book or series of books.
If you know a specific book that made you want to become a writer, try rereading it. It might spark those feelings of needing to create. At the very least, it’ll give you a nice trip down Memory Lane.
Try reading something you’d never think of reading before, something in a weird genre or just an author you’ve never tried. Being introduced to something new can help get the inspiration flowing. Ask a friend if they have any book recommendations for you, if you don’t know where to start.
2. Movies & TV Shows
Movies, like books, are a form of story telling. Movies also span a wide range of genres and subjects, and so if you’re into something pretty specific, you’ll probably be able to find a movie about it.
The same thing goes for TV shows, so open up your favorite streaming service and soak in some inspiration.
3. Get a Change of Scenery
There’s nothing quite like a change of scenery to jumpstart the inspiration machine.
Sometimes just going for a walk around the neighborhood and letting my mind wander is enough to get me past my writer’s block. At the very least, it gives me ideas of new ways to find inspiration.
Try a leisurely stroll around your neighborhood if you’re stuck, and maybe you’ll get some inspiration.
4. Look at Other Media
There are a lot of different kinds of media besides books, movies, and TV shows. I find that looking at illustrations by my favorite artists really inspires me, since my brain likes to try and imagine the story behind the pieces.
Sometimes video games inspire me as well, especially since their worlds are so immersive.
When you’re looking for inspiration, look at things outside of books, movies, and TV shows. You’d be surprised at how many stories are hidden in media that aren’t traditionally considered to tell stories.
5. Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
When you have writer’s block and you’re searching for inspiration, don’t be too hard on yourself. We all go through dry spots in our creativity, and there’s nothing wrong with watching a couple of movies or a TV show if it helps us get our inspiration back.
Find Motivation to Write
It may be the case that you have plenty of inspiration, just no motivation. If so, don’t worry, I’ve been there before.
Motivation can be a bit trickier to nail down than inspiration. What motivates me might be a total motivation killer for you, so experiment to find out what works.
1. Use Your Why-Power
There are probably a few reasons for why you’re a writer. When you lose sight of those reasons, it can be difficult to find to courage to keep going.
If you’re out of motivation, try to find your why-power to start writing again.
For me, my why-powers are:
- The ability to inspire and teach others
- A way to vocalize my thoughts and ambitions
- A way to explore new ideas and worlds
Those are the reasons I have for why I write, and thinking about those reasons gives me the motivation I need to write.
2. Make Writing a Habit
Action breeds motivation, so start writing even if you don’t feel like it. If you keep on writing, you may find that your motivation returns and builds from the act of creation.
The best way to consistently practice the act of writing is to make it a habit. Try writing for a certain amount of time each day for 30 days.
It may be difficult to start, but here’s a little trick for you:
Habits have 3 parts to them, the cue, routine, and reward.
The cue is the signal that tells your brain that it’s time to do your habit.
The routine is the habit itself.
The reward is what you gain from doing the habit.
If you’ve already made a list of your why-powers for writing, than you already have a reward written up. To make writing a habit, all you need is the cue and the routine.
One good way to make a cue is to set an alarm for a set time each day. Whenever you hear the alarm, you start writing for 1 hour (or however long you choose). After 30 days of consistently following that habit, you’ll have made a writing habit for yourself.
3. Give Yourself a Concrete Goal
I find that deadlines motivate me a ton, and so I often set deadlines for myself when writing. An example of this is telling myself that I need to write and edit 5 blog posts in a week. This is a concrete goal, since I have a set number of blog posts to write, and a deadline.
When making writing goals for yourself, you’ll want to know at least these 2 things:
- How much work you need to get done
- How much time you have to work
When making goals, be realistic and give yourself goals that challenge you just a little bit. Goals that are impossible to do won’t get completed, but goals that are too easy won’t teach you very much.
What do you do when you have writer’s block? Leave me a comment to let me know.
If you don’t have writer’s block, but instead you’re burnt out, try reading this post: How to Deal With Writing Burnout
If you’ve enjoyed this post, or found it helpful, please leave a like, a comment, or share it on social media. I really appreciate it.
I blog on Wednesdays, so check back next week for some new content!