You’re all set to write the guest post that’s going to bring at least a hundred new leads to your website, and then it happens: The dreaded writer’s block.
The best of us go through this at some point or another, and it may come from various reasons – maybe a fear of criticism or wanting to write the perfect post in one shot.
No matter what the reason, writer’s block can be quite inconvenient. What if you have a looming deadline? How do you create when you’re feeling anything but inspired?
Luckily, writer’s block isn’t a permanent state of being; there are a number of ways to pull yourself out of your creativity slump and find your voice again.
Here are a few exercises you can try when you need to stimulate the imagination.
Look at the world around you.
It may sound too easy – don’t most of us go outside every single day? – but the world can actually be a pretty inspiring place. The catch is that we usually don’t properly look. Too often, our noses are in our phones while we’re on the go and in a computer when we’re sitting still.
Talk to a stranger you normally would never interact with, Humans of New York style. Go on a hike in nature, or meditate in the middle of a forest. Regardless of where you go or what you observe, a change in environment is sure to help get those creative juices flowing.
Listen to music.
Pick your poison: Classical or jazz? Hard rock or deep house? Music is known to stimulate the brain, and it can also evoke emotion that will translate into your writing.
Try putting on 15 minutes of music, and then write whatever comes to mind. Or, play an instrumental track and experiment with writing the narrative you imagine is taking place within the sounds. One way or another, you will end up with something interesting.
Get your hands dirty.
Writing engages all of the senses because you constantly have to think about another person’s perspective (i.e. your readers’). Whether writing a descriptive exploration or a technical installation guide, you’re always pondering what it’s like to be somebody else. And, this often calls for interaction with your own physical senses – you have to consider your own experiences in order to understand somebody else’s, right?
Using your hands to create something tangible is a way to engage with a physical sense that many often don’t consider when writing. Bake a cake, plant some seeds, or even just play in the mud – the physical sensations will remind your brain of what it’s like to create.
Browse art inspiration websites.
Engaging with the arts is another way to awaken the imagination. Although writing isn’t the same kind of visual art as graphic design or portraiture, the arts all have a way of interacting with one another.
There are a ton of sites that exist purely to give people design inspiration, from curated galleries to specific tips on how to create a project from start to finish. You can scroll through the work of artists from around the web or gather designers’ opinions on how to best craft brand identity work. As freelance writers often have corporate clients, you will likely find the artistic insight that speaks to you.
This may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes you need to get your pen moving before your mind follows with a good idea. Freestyle with whatever comes into your head; if you only get one good sentence out of two hundred, you can still consider it time well-spent.
Over to You
Now that you have a number of avenues at your disposal through which to break through your writer’s block, it’s time to choose an exercise and go for it. Which of the above do you think you’re going to try first?