It’s 8pm as I start to write this post. This seems to be the typical time for me to sit down and start typing. I’ve always been a procrastinator. The trouble tonight, though, is that I haven’t a clue what to write about. Normally, I have an idea percolating in the back of my head as I go about my day. Sometimes the idea changes once the words begin to pour out, but inevitably a new post comes to fruition.
Today, I have not had a single good idea. So I decided that’s what I would write about. We all go through this. You could call it writer’s block, but it applies to many other situations outside of writing. I’ve had lots of “almost” ideas, but they either weren’t quite deep enough, or they were rather too involved for me to tackle right now.
Part of my problem is I’m tired and not thinking clearly. Another part is lack of motivation right now. I figure, if I have these problems, maybe you do to. So, that leaves the big question. How do I get over this hurdle?
Here are five practical suggestions to help you get back on your way.
1. Take a break
If you are beating your head against a wall trying to force you way through a problem, maybe it’s time to step back for a minute. Take your mind off of the task at hand for a bit. Go for a walk, chat with a friend, check facebook. When you sit down again, you will have a fresher mind.
Get something to eat, and drink. If you are hungry, it’s hard to concentrate. And dehydration can lead to headaches (among other things). Don’t forget to go to the washroom, while you’re at it.
Not only can meditation clear your mind, it can also help you feel more awake. Sometimes, when you let your mind wander, you come up with some neat ideas, too. Maybe even the solution to your problem!
4. Surf the web
This is different than taking a break. When I say surf the web, I’m talking about doing some research. Run some words related to your issue through a search engine. You never know what might turn up.
5. Ask for help
So simple, yet so hard to do! Ask your friends, family, or colleagues questions that might help you with your problem. You’d be surprised who might have some insight, even if your topic is out of their field of specialty. Even if nobody has an answer, just hearing yourself talking might trigger something. I can’t count how many times someone has asked me a question that’s been plaguing them, only to realize the answer themselves before I could open my mouth.
Bonus Tip (a la Nike): Just do it
Sometimes you just have to sit down and start. That’s what I did, and look how it worked out!
What are your favourite ways to combat writer’s block? Add them to the list in the comment section below.