Typewriter black and whiteOver the years I’ve been asked by many people what my answer is to writers block, or feeling dry creatively, or when you’re stuck as a writer.

Because we’ve all been there haven’t we? Sitting at home with literally nothing to say, no motivation to write, feeling totally empty and dry, like we’ll never write another word ever again.

Sound familiar?

Well the best way to answer this question is share my own story.

I’ve struggled with this more than once in my life. And there were two things I did each time to free myself from the shackles of writers block.

Last year I had something of a blogging or writing epiphany. I had got so caught up in performing and impressing, I’d lost my soul. I’d lost my voice. I had nothing left, because in truth I’d been writing to impress others for too long.

Only a month or two ago, I felt lacking in inspiration for different reasons. I’d simply burned out. Blogging was becoming a drag, an obligation, a duty.

The Two Lessons

I learned lessons from both of these periods, and both helped me overcome the writers block I was experiencing – and liberated me to go and create with freedom. There’s two key lessons I learned:

1) Sit, Wait & Write.

I took a 3 month break from public blogging last year. And instead, I chose to write something every day. Something. Anything. Even if it was 50 words. To get myself in front of a laptop, or even on my phone, and just write.

Sometimes it took a while for something to come. I had to wait for something. And often I just wrote with no idea what was coming next, purely from my subconscious. But eventually the words came.

Looking back, I can say it was honestly one of the most liberating, creative seasons of my life. I didn’t even want to go back to public blogging eventually.

This period helped me discover my voice, and the work from that period resulted in many blog posts and an e-book.

So get yourself to a laptop, a notepad. And wait. Then type whatever flows from your mind. No editing, no corrections, no thinking, just write and let it all out.

Be honest, just write whatever is inside, however long it takes, whatever it is. Then save it. You never have to publish it, you never have to show anyone, it can be 50 words or 2000 words, but let it out.

This free-writing liberates you to create from your heart, and gives birth to a whole wave of new ideas. (you can tweet that).

2) Free Yourself From Obligation. 

This year I just got bored of blogging. It became a burden, a duty. I seemed to have run out of ideas, and had no motivation to go searching for new ones. Even the sitting and waiting which had worked so well in the past wasn’t happening, because I had no motivation to do even that.

Writers Block

So I decided to free myself from the obligation to blog. I would blog only if I had something to say – and if I didn’t, I’d just not blog.

And once I did this, again, I found a fresh wave of creativity. I could go and write, without any fear and without worrying what others thought. It was liberating.

I’m not saying you should shut down your blog. Just free yourself from the obligation to blog, or to find something to say. Take a break from public writing and just write what’s inside.

Keep pouring it out, push through, and eventually what you will find is your voice.

 

Now I’m not saying these will definitely work for you, and it’s by no means an exhaustive list of how to cure writers block. I’m sure there are other methods which have worked for you (and feel free to share those in the comments). But these have worked for me, and I know they’ve worked for many others as well. So if nothing else, just try either or both of them.

It could not only break you out of your writers block, but help you discover your voice, and free you to create work you never knew you were capable of.

Are you with me?

 

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Question For Reflection:

How have you overcome writers block – did these methods work for you?

Share your story in the comments below.

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(Picture Source: Flickr.com/Online Source)

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James Prescott

Hi, I’m James. I live near London. I’m a fan of good food, comic-book movies, & books. I love to write, and I coach other writers & creative people. Thank you for being part of my community. read more...