An easy and straightforward method for beating writer’s block
You know how the story goes… you sit down at your computer, you open up a brand new word doc, you’ve blocked out hours of free time on your calendar, you have a steaming mug of coffee at the ready, and your mind is brimming with ideas, concepts and possibilities. All you need to do now is type. Something. Anything. Just one little sentence to get you started. Half a sentence. A word.
And yet, you can’t make it happen.
Instead, your Facebook or Twitter feed gets a good scrolling. You refill your long-empty coffee mug. You decide that catching up on the day’s news right that minute is a priority, or that you are hungry and need to go immediately in search of a snack. Still, your word doc remains empty, and your frustration grows.
So what can you do when this so-called ‘writer’s block’ (or what I like to term ‘blank screen affliction’) strikes? Easy – simply put pen to paper.
This is an old trick that I have used countless times when the words won’t flow from my fingertips to the keyboard and computer screen. I can’t tell you exactly why it works – perhaps it’s a subconscious or inherent signal to the brain that when holding a pen to paper, words must be produced – but no matter how many times I have tried it, it works.
So what should you write about when trialling this mind-trick? Well, I find writing just about anything can help kick-start word flow. Write a shopping list. Write what you ate for dinner the past five nights. Write what you hope to achieve at the end of your blocked out time-period in your calendar. Perhaps even try writing the first sentence you want to appear on your computer screen. It doesn’t matter, just try writing something using pen and paper!
And before you know it, you might just find yourself with a page (or three!) of prose. Then the easy part comes – transcribing your written scrawls to type, and adding any other words that are sure to come now that you’ve kicked off the writing process. Before long, you’ll have your story written, your goal achieved, and a wonderful sense of accomplishment, all thanks to a singular pen and a piece of paper.