Whether it’s the internal editor squashing your creativity or major life traumas (like having teenagers) crowding your brain, every once in a while the words just won’t come.
Wouldn’t we all like to go on a vacation or writer’s retreat to refill that creativity well? But, that’s not realistic most of the time (although, if you go on one, can I come too?)
I’m here to tell you writer’s block is all in your head, figuratively speaking. No, I don’t think it’s a bunch of hooey, but I do think it’s all mental, and you can beat it. Here are my top tips for busting through writer’s block on your coffee break.
1. Change Your Internal Dialog
Oh, we are your harshest critiques, aren’t we? That mean little voice inside our heads that tell us what we’re writing is crap, or that we won’t ever get published, or whatever your writing demons whisper it’s doing your writing a life a whole lotta harm
I found myself saying that I just couldn’t get this book finished, and I got called on the green shag carpeting for it by one of my critique partners.
So, I’m no longer allowed to say or even think that phrase. Anytime I find myself ruminating on how difficult writing has been lately I deliberately change that internal dialog.
I am writing a great book. I will finish it in plenty of time. I’m having fun writing this book.
Sounds corny, but the power of positive thinking totally helps.
Coffee Break Buster: Take five minutes to write down a few positive affirmations about your, your writing process, your work in progress, and the words you’re going to write today. Now repeat those to yourself, first in your head, then out loud.
2. Guided Meditation
Sometimes when those internal editor demons are yelling so loud you can’t hear yourself think of ways to tell them to shut-up on your own. Why not let someone else get out the bullhorn?
I’m talking about a guided meditation. You get to close your eyes (but, don’t take a nap!), do some deep breathing (oxygen is good for the brain), and listen to some soothing voice convince you to write amazing words today.
I found a whole bunch of guided meditations for creativity on YouTube.
Here are a couple of my favorites:
10 Minute Guided Meditation On Unblocking and Expanding Creativity from Positive Magazine:
Coffee Break Buster: I’ve put together a playlist on YouTube chocked full of more Coffee Break Writer’s Block Buster mediations:
3. Do Something Else Creative
Maybe the words aren’t flowing because you’ve let your creative well run dry. Try doing some other creative projects besides writing to fill yourself back up. I go to an art group every week and we paint, color, craft, sculpt, and chit chat. There’s no pressure to make anything amazing, sellable, or even good enough to hang on the refrigerator at home. We are all there simply to have some self-care time. It gets the creative juices flowing without any pressure, and I always write better afterwards.
You don’t need an organized group or event, grab some blank paper and crayons, or even a coloring book. Any creativity will activate the fun parts of your brain and then you can harness it to write some words.
Coffee Break Buster: Doodle at your desk, make people out of paperclips, or a post-it note collage. Come on, it will be fun!
Need some more ideas? Here’s a round-up of articles for busting through writer’s block. There are some great strategies to be found (and some kind of weird ones too.)
Do you have other ideas or activities you do to bust through writer’s block? Share them in the comments!