Whether you're a novelist, a student or a budding writer, then you probably have experienced writer's block at some point. To put it bluntly, it can an absolute pain in the buttocks.
So, I thought I would share some of the tips I have and the things that help me when I am suffering from the writer's curse.
Do something physical
This can be anything from getting in the shower to taking a walk. Sometimes you just need to do something to take your mind away from it. Perhaps go into the kitchen and bake something tasty for desert later.
Sometimes, I take myself to the Costa drive thru for a coffee. This helps because for some reason it feels productive? I get in the car, listen to some music, drive there and back and because I have spent £5 on a coffee, it would be rude not to be productive.
A new approach
Sometimes I struggle to write because I have so many ideas and my thoughts are moving too quickly for me to type. Now this is technically a good thing, you are excited and you have so many ideas but it can also stop you from being able to work because it's so busy inside your brain.
A good way to tackle this is a complete mind dump. Get a piece of paper (or a blank document if you wish) and write everything and anything you need to down, get it all out and off your chest. This way you have everything in one place just in case you forget and you have relieved your brain a little. If you feel the pressure of a blank screen, then maybe try to exercise your writing muscles with a writing prompt. These are a great way to get something down on paper without too much pressure, and there are so many different prompts out there for you to choose from.
Then write. You don't have to start from the beginning (which again can be the reason for a block). You could be struggling start, so don't and start somewhere else.
Do something productive
Now by this I don't mean sit and do your work because clearly that's not an option at this point. You won't be producing your best quality of work if you do this and you don't want to end up hating it.
By productive I mean, errands. For example, if you have a pile of parcels that need to go to the post office, take a walk there (or a drive, if it's too far away).
Perhaps you could maybe clear out a drawer and organise it.
One thing that I found to help me during lockdown was flat pack furniture. It seems so random but for some reason it's been effective. I think it just takes my concentration somewhere else and gives me a break from it. Clearly this isn't a permanent solution, I can't just keep buying furniture to build whenever I'm feeling blocked but, it's given me an idea of what helps and maybe now I can find something similar that won't clutter up my house with half of IKEA (Jigsaws maybe?).
Take your mind somewhere else
When I was at university, if I was struggling I found that distracting myself (for a short while) would help me. I would blast music so loudly into my ears through my headphones that music could be the only thing in my brain (probably not the best thing for your ears though). This might sound ridiculous to you but it would take my mind off my work for a while and it would put me in a good mood. When I went back to my desk, my sprits would be lifted, the frustration would be gone and I could start again.
You could also watch a movie, live someone else's life for a little bit. Let your brain stress out about whether Bridget Jones is wearing nice knickers or if Tessa Young is finally going to dump that toxic boyfriend of hers.
And finally, DON'T force it
If you only take one thing from this blog post, then this it it! Do not force yourself to write. Realistically you won't be producing your best work which means you will most likely have to rewrite it anyway.
I know that can be difficult especially if you're working on a deadline. But, the best thing you can do is find the things that work for you and when you're starting to feel a block coming on, stop and give yourself a moment.