Do you know what just happened? I opened a fresh new document, a virtual blank page, intent on filling it with words of wit and wisdom, and then … nothing. Absolutely. Nothing. Have you ever had one of these blank-screen encounters? The deadline is looming and there is that virtual page just staring back at you while your mind goes blank. It doesn’t matter what we’re writing, a blog, a video script, a business plan, anything.
As writers and even non-writers, we have all faced this challenge. Let me share with you four tried-and-true techniques that I use to overcome the dreaded writer’s block:
For many of us, the fear of not writing something “perfect” ratchets up the writer’s block. Relax. That’s what the editing process is for. Just start writing. Write anything. Once you begin to move letters onto that page, words will form, which will morph into sentences, which will eventually grow into something you can massage and make into the finished piece you wanted all along.
Embrace the outline
Still struggling to form a complete sentence? You don’t have to (not yet, anyway). Go ahead and outline your ideas. Write down your main idea and let the bullet points flow. Once you have your roadmap in place, the rest will make its way off your finger tips and onto the page.
Ditch the distractions
I have to confess, while writing this I’ve checked my email, commented on a few Facebook posts and paused to watch a segment on the news. None of that is helping. Shut down the distractions. Find a quiet room, shut off the TV, keep the browser closed (unless you need to do some research) and start writing.
Some of my best creative work has been done in my mind while I’m on my feet. Go for a walk, hit the gym, do something not in front of the keyboard and screen. As you move, let your ideas bounce around your brain. When you’re done, jot down some notes and start typing.
What helps you get unstuck? Hit the comments section and share your ideas!