Having writer’s block is one of the most terrifying feelings for a creative person — especially when you have a deadline. There’s plenty of advice out there, but what if the normal ideas don’t work to get you writing again?
Well, that’s the part where you go off the reservation and try some of the more, shall we say, unorthodox methods. Today I’m going to show you 10 absurd strategies.
Keep in mind as I write this that I am of sound mind and body. I’ve used these techniques, and they keep me full of awesome blog ideas. Some of these may sound crazy, but they work, I promise!
1. Talk to yourself (or an imaginary friend)
Try opening an document and writing out a conversation with yourself or a hypothetical “fan.” Talk about your ideas and ask yourself questions to help work through the block. Be honest with yourself, or should I say, yourselves?
2. Turn off the filter
Writer’s block makes you angry, so let it out! Start ranting and raving. Use language that would make a sailor blush. Get it all out, and then maybe start fresh or tidy up the first draft.
3. Change your writing tool
If you’re stuck in Microsoft Word, try switching to Google Docs. Change the font size or color to make it look different.
Or try pulling out a piece of paper and a pen and composing by hand.
4. Write in concentrated bursts
Sometimes you just need to push yourself to write as much as possible in a short amount of time. Try out the Pomodoro Method, where you set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the timer goes off. Then take a 3-5 minute break.
5. Embrace chaos
We usually try to keep ourselves ultra-focused when writing, but that’s not how creativity works. Instead of trying to control it, let yourself be taken in by the chaos of life. You never know what will give you an idea.
6. Write in a different time or place
While routines can be good for writers, sometimes you just need to turn a day on its head and work in an entirely different order. If you typically start the day with emails, skip it and dive right into a project. Check emails later, after you make some progress.
Or go to the library or a coffee shop — somewhere completely different from where you normally write.
7. Take a shower
If you’re stuck, don’t try to force the creativity. Your brain needs to relax, so try doing something that requires very little brain power, such as taking a shower or doing some routine chore, such as the dishes. You’ll be surprised how readily the ideas will pop!
8. Head to Facebook
This is another one you wouldn’t think to do because it’s a time vortex. But if you need ideas, there’s plenty here. Just set a time limit for yourself so you don’t lose hours of your day.
9. Listen to the rain
The sound of rain is relaxing and comforting. And it can get your brain working. No rain? Maybe you could sit near an aquarium or fountain and get a similar effect.
10. Steal ideas
Don’t outright copy someone else’s work, of course, but use it to inspire new ideas. Visit a blog you’ve never read before or pull out a favorite novel — anything that can spark your creativity. As bestselling author Austin Kleon once said, “All creative work builds on what came before.”
What unique ways do you use to combat writer’s block? Share your tips and your favorites in the comments below!
Patrick Hartoonian is the co-founder of On Blast Blog, where he provides insight for beginning bloggers. Sign up for his free blogging course.