Those who are terrified of a blank page staring right back at them, raise your hand.
The reason why a blank page, or a blank canvas or the lack of a new dance move, can be so frightening is that they can be career-damaging. The dread of not being able to write –if you are a freelance writer – is always accompanied with the dread of not getting paid.
I don’t know if J.K Rowling gets terrified when she gets writer’s block (if she ever does, that is), but I’m sure that rolling in her millions makes everything better. Alas, the rest of us have no millions to roll in.
But do not fret, because we have come up with the best tips on how to beat that damn creative block.
1. Tune Into Your Circadian Rhythms
Our internal clock follows a circadian rhythm to decide when to sleep and when to wake; while most of us are forced into a 9-to-5 schedule, this does not work for everyone. Some are more productive in the morning and others are more productive in the evening, so it’s advisable to tune into your mind and figure out when you are more productive.
If, for example, you are more of a morning person and you’ve been forcing yourself to write in the afternoon, then chances are you haven’t been getting any results.
2. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
When the world is racing, we make ourselves race, too. We often push ourselves to reach the end result without first focusing on each individual part of the task. Do I need to tell you that this overwhelms our brain? And an overwhelmed brain will, without a doubt, refuse to work – thus, the creative block.
It’s always best to focus on specific aspects of the task you want to accomplish. Sit in front of your blank page and do not think about the end result, but rather break it apart and see if you can write about a particular part. It’s likely that this will help your brain kick-start and, before you know it, you’ll be furiously typing away.
3. Do Nothing
Just because you’ve decided you want to be creative doesn’t mean that your brain wants to be creative as well. Maybe you are overstressing and your brain is refusing to cooperate; in any case, you should try walking away from that blank page. Do something else for a while: focus on other work tasks or give your brain a chance to relax by reading a good book or watching TV.
4. Take a Nap
Our unconscious is a wonderful source of the unexpected. So, whenever you are facing a creative block, you need to tap into your unconscious. And unless you have the time and the money to go to therapy, I suggest taking a nap.
Sigmund Freud would tell you that our unconscious is expressed through our dreams, so the best way to tap into that unconscious is by taking a nap; and as soon as you wake up, write all your ideas down.
You’ll realize that your brain probably overcame its creative block during the time you were asleep.
5. Write Anything
If your brain is refusing to cooperate to write what you expect it to write, simply start writing about anything. Start writing about what’s around you, your thoughts and worries and, before long, your brain will overcome its block. This process is called stream of consciousness, and it refers to the brain’s ability to connect thoughts.
Everyone who’s in a creative profession will tell you that, at one point or another, they’ve had to deal with creative block. It’s only natural that your brain will need to pause for a second, so don’t let that make you too anxious.
Have you ever suffered from a creative block? How did you overcome it? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comment section below!