Tuesday, October 7, 2014

7 Ways to Avoid Writer's Block

Welcome to the Wyvern's Den, readers. Please take the complimentary cheese puffs we've set out for you.
As you munch your complimentary cheese puff, we will give you some (also complimentary) advice.
Every writer has encountered the deadly foe known as Writer's Block before. Writer's Block is a terrible and lethal beast that can kill your writing before you ever even write it.
Which is bad. And especially with NaNoWriMo coming up! (link)

National Novel Writing Month is an especially bad time of year to get writer's block. So here are a few tips on how to work past it. These are pooled both from the depths of the internet and from personal experience.

1. If you write on a computer, turn off the internet.

Many people find themselves easily wandering into the distractions of Youtube and other social media, or perhaps playing games online. This is really bad for your unwritten novel! So, simple solution: turn off the internet. Many word processors do not even use the internet, such as Microsoft Word or Scrivener. However, even the ones that do, such as Google Drive, usually have an offline mode. And if you're ever tempted to simply switch the internet back on, there are productivity programs such as Freedom (link), which temporarily disable the internet for the specified amount of time.

2. Change the scenery.

Do you write in your room all the time? Take your writing outside. Find some shade in the backyard and work. Or you could drive to a coffee shop and work there. Bookstores and libraries are also good choices, because they offer a more quiet and soothing environment, and there are reference books all around you, without the distractions of social media! Wherever you go, it's always good to be in a different environment. It helps refresh your mind so you can keep pounding out words.

3. Listen to music? Try changing it up.

If you listen to music while you write, it may be distracting you. Your brain is constantly absorbing everything that's happening, so it's good sometimes to turn off all sound around you. Another helpful thing to do is to switch to something non-lyrical. Lyrics especially distract our brains. Soundtrack or atmospheric music are a good idea too.

4. Remove all distractions from your environment.

Going back to #1 and #2, if moving to someplace else isn't an option, you can try to remove all distractions from your environment. For example, if your family members keep barging into your space during writing time, forcibly evict them with all the fury of Cthulhu work with them to establish when they can't come into your room. If your TV is there, turn it off or even move it out. If your room is messy and you can't think with all that clutter, clean it and then get back to writing.

5. Take breaks.

This may seem counterintuitive, but breaks help you write. Referring back to #4, taking a break to clean your room can actually help you. If you've spent the last hour writing, it's good to go outside for fifteen minutes. Either relax or occupy yourself with a chore, like doing dishes or cleaning. It helps.

6. Get enough rest.

Another reason you might not be finding enough inspiration is if you aren't getting enough sleep at night. Try to enforce a strict bedtime. Going to bed at midnight every single night will tire your brain and become a detriment to your work. Adjust your sleep schedule so that you go to bed earlier, and your mind will be fresher when it's time to write.

7. Establish a routine.

Write every day. Write for the same amount of time. And write at the same time of day. Our brains love routine. If you do the same thing every day, your brain remembers it and builds up myelin, which strengthens your neural networks. Routine literally grows your brain. You strengthen your memory, work more efficiently, and learn faster when you have a routine. You become a better writer.


So there you have it! 7 tips for combating writer's block. This can apply to any activity, really, from playing a musical instrument to practicing sports.

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