The creative writing community is a tight knit one, and an experience that each member can identify with is that of Writer’s block. It’s terrible, especially the anxious feeling of doom that comes with an impending deadline. Even as I’m writing this right now, I’m finding trouble in getting my words to flow because it’s 7:39 on a Saturday and due in a few short hours. So it’s time to practice what I’m preaching, and relay to you a list of techniques I find helpful to get rid of my Writer’s block.
1) Get Out Of Your House
It is impossible to do work in a room where you sleep or eat, and most of us don’t have the pleasure of living alone, so there is the perpetual distraction of roommates as well. I always go to the library of a coffee shop to get things done. Leaving comfortable surroundings and traveling to one that is associated with quiet and work is the first step to climbing the wall of Writer’s block.
2) Turn Off Your Phone, Deactivate Your Facebook
The constant distraction of the constant connection of the world is one of the most detrimental factors to the hindrance of the creative process. Restrain yourself from the petty distractions of real life! Reading, “Alex Smith wants to be you’d friend!” Or “heyyyyyyy wut r u doin 2nite?”, does absolutely for your writing, so just stop it, seriously.
3) Listen to Calm, Thought Provoking Music/Block Out All Sounds
I guess this tip is kind of relative to the person and type of writing. When I write creative writing, I always like to have headphones playing music quietly (sometimes mellow chill beats, sometimes classical musical), but sometimes with academic writing I just need silence; but some people can’t write with music under any circumstances. Do what is most conducive to your own creative process, while taking the type of writing into consideration.
4) Take a Damn Break
Sometimes I see people in the library who look like they’re strung out on heroin because they’re so exhausted, physically and mentally, from the work they’re doing; don’t do that to yourselves. Take the appropriate amount of time away from your writing, though not too long to the point of procrastination. In certain situations it’s good to just walk down the street and get some coffee or something, but in others just get some sleep; writing that comes from an exhausted mind can be down right haggard, so save yourself the time it would take to edit, and just don’t do it.
5) Sensory Deprivation?
If all else fails, it might be time to take out the big guns and deprive yourself of all your senses. Sounds a bit extreme I know, but I’ve been doing research into the topic and it seems to be a really enlightening experience that provokes the mind. How one goes about doing this is to go to a place that offers the service, and you enter this giant tank that is both sound and light proof where you float in body temperature water. The point of it is to deprive your body of all of it’s senses, so nothing is distracting the mind from thought. I think this is awesome and I really want to try it. I found a place called Space Time Tanks, that is right by DePaul University, and offers this. I think I am going to try it and I am really curious if anyone reading that has. If depriving the mind from every humanly possible distraction doesn’t cure your Writer’s block, I don’t know what will.