Writer’s block is common among all writers, whether you’re an amateur essayist or professional author. This inconvenient condition can slow your productivity and clog your creativity. You can overcome this obstacle through various brain exercises, the right environment and effective tools.
Here are some of the best techniques that will help you overcome your writer’s block:
Keep a small, transportable journal with you, so you can write down your ideas whenever creative lightning strikes. You can also utilise the notes app on your smartphone or tablet, if material paper and a writing utensil is too inconvenient. Ideas will often come in the wake of your slumber, after you’ve had a notable dream, or when you are in the process of a mundane task, like driving, walking or showering. When your mind isn’t preoccupied by external stimuli or an intellectual task, it will freely roam into more creative realms.
There are many instances of authors who have had a random thought that inspired iconic stories. J.R.R Tolkien, for example, found his inspiration for The Hobbit while he graded papers. He came across a blank sheet and wrote the first thing that came to mind: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” At the time, Tolkien did not know why he wrote that specific phrase and did not know what a hobbit was. His initial book was an exploration into this idea, which prompted the celebrated and cherished trilogy of The Lord of the Rings.
Creative Writing Prompts
Writing prompts provide you with a focused idea that you can build on. The process of creation will exercise your mind and lead it into a more lucid and creative state. You can create your own prompt—it can be formulated as a response to an article or book that you read or can elaborate on any reoccurring thoughts you’ve had on your mind. There are many online resources that provide a large variety of guided writing prompts. For example, Busy Teacher has hundreds of creative writing prompts that will stimulate your brain and help it switch gears into a more creative state.
If you are easily distracted, the right music can keep your thoughts on track. Lyrical music may muddle up your thoughts and direct your focus toward the lyrics or voice of the singer. However, strictly instrumental music—ambient, techno or classical—are ideal soundtracks that help you focus. Classical music, in particular, has been thoroughly studied in regards with its effects on the brain. A Finnish study revealed that a test group of classical music listeners had increased dopamine secretion and synaptic functions. These functions increase your energy, mood, and memory—all of which can support the writing process. You can also match your writing soundtrack with the mood or tone of your piece. For example, a sci-fi story would pair well with up-tempo techno or a John Williams overture.
Meditation is a practice that keeps your mind focused on the present moment. The practice of meditation harnesses your brainwaves and takes them into an Alpha state. In this state your mind relaxes, which helps reduce anxiety, increase creativity, grant clarity and focus the mind. Meditation can be practiced virtually anywhere—at home, at work, in your car, or out in nature. Attempt your first meditation practice in a quiet space and have the session last for 10 minutes. Smaller time increments will help you condition your mind toward more effective meditation practice. Meditation will help your mental and physical health, which are both important components that affect your writing.