by Kimlin Harrilal, Copy Lead
While many psychologists do not believe that it exists writers will tell you otherwise.
If you’ve ever tried to complete a project you know there are numerous triggers to feeling stuck, from procrastination, to fear, self-doubt, anxiety, and even uncertainty.
No matter the cause, don’t allow writer’s block to kill your motivation, steal your confidence or even destroy your project.
Here are 6 ways to attack your writer’s block, meet that deadline, and get those bills paid!
GET REAL…Real Honest
Ask yourself: Why does this project challenge me? Why can’t I start or finish it? The answer is where you will begin your journey.
Is it something you have never done so you feel uncertain of how to begin? Ask for help. Is it a topic that makes you feel uncomfortable? Confront your emotions and ease your way in. Or maybe you are feeling insecure about your writing skills to tackle a big assignment? Pinpointing why this task feels like a mountain will help you unlock the shift you need mentally to get started.
GET POSITIVE – Change Your Thinking
If the power of life and death is in the tongue, then the power of your project is there too. While your fear and anxiety are busy telling your mind all the reasons why you can’t and it’s impossible – guess what, your mind becomes convinced. Take control of the narrative! Change the words you are allowing yourself to hear and ultimately believe.
Snatch back the reins of creative power by choosing not to believe writer’s block exists or even utter the words. Speak positively about this project and tell yourself things that align with the vision that you have for it when it’s completed. Instead of saying ‘I have writer’s block’ or ‘I can’t do this’ try any of the following:
- This is going to be my best work yet! I can do this!
- I am an excellent writer, and my project will be amazing!
- I have what it takes, I WILL complete this project today!
- I have everything in me to make this project a success!
Say whatever you need to so that you can regain control over the dominant thoughts keeping you from writing your piece.
TIP- Put your writer’s affirmations on a Post-It Note and keep it nearby.
Phone a friend, any friend! Get on a Zoom call. Reach out to your colleagues. Just reach out to the ones you believe know a bit about what you’re trying to accomplish. Tell them about your project and listen to their feedback and suggestions. They don’t have to be Einstein, they just have to share their perspective. A new point of view can spark your creativity, trigger inspiration, and fuel your momentum to get your project off the ground. With a little help from your friends, you can change your relationship with your project from ‘It’s Complicated’ to ‘In Progress’!
Speaking of inspiration…
GET INSPIRED – offline & on
You have the ability. You just need something to get you going.
Put on your research hat, grab some popcorn, and watch videos, reels, TikToks, read articles, research papers, and whatever else you can get your hands on. Make notes about what you believed worked or didn’t work, and what you found unique, and start building from there. Consume everything related to your project then use what you learned to create something new and write it the way only you can.
Alternatively, your inspiration can come from simple things like taking a shower, going for a walk, or even just switching up your writing routine – put on some music, try out a new writing spot in your house or even in a park! Small changes can have big impacts.
One caveat though – it’s easy to stray down the garden path when there’s still a part of you that wants to avoid undertaking your writing challenge. Give yourself an hour or two and when time’s up, back to work!
GET GROUNDED – Set Goals and Deadlines
A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways, and I’ve found that this includes writing. Decide that you aren’t moving until you finish at least one paragraph or one page. Mastering focus means not negotiating with distractions or even rewards. Make a comprehensive plan, set a deadline and an alarm, and get going!
If you work better under pressure (more pressure than your deadline) you can try the Pomodoro technique.
GET GOING! Start Writing…Anything
James Clear’s Book Eat That Frog postulates the idea of doing your most challenging task first. When it comes to your most challenging project, the one where you feel stuck, use your prime productivity time or when you feel most energetic and give all your attention and focus to completing the task at hand.
Remember, first drafts were meant to be edited so start anywhere, the beginning, the middle or simply start with the easiest parts. Seeing progress helps you to build momentum and encourages you to keep writing.
Bonus Tip – Get Dressed
There’s something about purposefully getting ready to do something that makes the doing part easier. It’s like they say, dress for success! It gets me into productivity mode every time. So even if you’re sitting on the couch- the fact that you got ready with the intention of completing this specific task gets your brain on track to make it happen.
In no way do these strategies mean your work is going to be magically perfect; they simply serve as means to get you over the hurdle and unstuck!