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Creative Writing Tip: Overcoming Writer’s Block

We’ve all had those moments when we’ve faced a blank sheet of paper or computer screen, and the words don’t come. Here are some tips of what to do when you find yourself with writer’s block:

  • Just write something down — anything down. Your creativity can be stymied if you try to edit while you write, or if you feel that the words have to be perfect the moment you commit them to the page. Just put down whatever words come to mind. You can always edit them later.
  • If you have an idea but not the exact words, write a description of what you want to write about and come back to it later. I enclose my description in brackets and use a different color font so that I can find the text later.
  • If a particular section gives you problems, go to another part of your work. This enables you to keep going on your project, and you might find the solution to the section that gave you difficulty.
  • Take a short break, like a fifteen-minute walk, or getting a glass of water, or catching up with work-related e-mail. Don’t use diversions that wind up consuming a lot of time, like watching TV or surfing the Internet.
  • If the words aren’t just coming, find some other activity that will further your project. Research. Read books on writing. You might come across an idea that will get the words flowing again.

The important point is to keep your project going. Don’t let a momentary lapse in creativity turn into a long stoppage that can derail your work completely. As a professional writer, you only get paid for the words you write. So, keep writing!