Why does writers block happen? This is often multi-faceted and has a common theme. You need to focus on something else for a while. There’s often nothing wrong with your concentration. Something else is going on and the reset button needs pressing.
Stories of writers block have been around for centuries (or at least a long enough time to feel like centuries) so, we will offer some guidance below to help you unravel the problem, or rather, refocus yourself.
Dive into this list of 10 things and choose one of them to do now. If that doesn’t work, try another. Slow and steady wins the race.
10 things to do when you have writers block
1. Change your environment
Go somewhere else like outside or another room. Even the next city. Anywhere to change the scenery because this will allow your mind to think of others things. Think of your mind like you do your body. Your body gets weary and then you rest it – do the same for your mind. Hang out in a new environment until you feel less pressured (truth be told this could be minutes or days)
2. Do the thing you’ve been putting off
Writers block can be caused by putting something off that was supposed to be done yesterday. It’s usually a boring task that you’ve lacked motivation to complete, and will linger in the back of your mind until it’s completed. Start this task right away (yes, please go and do this, we will wait for you) and focus on it for at least 5 minutes. 5 minutes of dedication to a task usually results in the task being finished. It’s human nature – we resist at first then after a few minutes our brains are happy to stay focused.
Playfulness is a fun part of life. It reignites the childlike spark inside of us and frees the mind from rigid thinking as we think with our bodies instead. This is when ideas flow in, when we’re at ease with ourselves and our surroundings. Play is the ultimate pastime if you feel stuck. It will unstick you from the glue of writers block and give you a shiny new outfit to roam around in.
4. Sing about having writers block
Write a song about temporarily losing your creativity and focus. No one’s going to hear it (unless you inadvertently write a hit) so be ridiculous and ignore all the ‘rules’ of song writing. Make it stupid or in a genre you never sing. Sometimes we feel blocked in our creativity due to the pressure we place on ourselves. We want to write the best song we’ve ever written, and get a record deal or a rockstar to pick it up. That’s a hefty amount of stress and creativity doesn’t work that way. Make a song you don’t care about and write a bad one purpose. There’s no pressure with that.
5. Go for a walk
Isn’t that what boring people do? Who’s to say. Ideas come along when we least expect it – and sometimes those ideas are outside, waiting to pounce as we wander around mulling over going into a cafe to get a croissant or a muffin.
6. Remove distractions
What do you have around you that could cause a distraction? Food is in front of you or a mobile, or perhaps a few social media tabs are open – and you’re looking at others accounts instead of adding to your own. If you don’t need to be online to help write a song, Turn off wifi on all devices and cue a short rush of anxiety. Our phones are our perceived connection with the world and our friends. Ignore the short lived anxiety from switching off internet access and be grateful that this distraction is no longer contributing to writers block.
Remove anyone who is not part of the writing process from the room, of course ask them nicely to leave. Say you’ve got some work to do and will catch up with them later.
7. Invite other writers over
This is the part where you add people to the room. Choose people who you normally vibe well with when writing a song, and add someone new into the mix. They might spark something within you and voila! You have a song. Even if you don’t complete a full song or come up with anything you will use, at least there is new energy in the room. New energy stimulates and requires a different response from you and this is a very good thing.
8. Start a song in a different way
If you can play instruments, choose one you don’t normally write with and see what you come up with. If you’re a producer and solely use a DAW, start with a sound bank you’ve never experimented with and create your own sounds too. Charlie Puth used a basketball sound as a snare once. He manipulated the sound and it really made the song unique. Mic up a shoe and kick different things with it – whatever you can think of that seems fun or odd. You never know what you can create until you try.
Get the blood going around your body. Movement is essential for the healthy flow of spinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord – and exercise shift toxins from the body and increases the feel good chemicals. Go play a sport with friends, or go for a run. Choose an activity you will enjoy and you’ll feel refreshed.
10. Free write
What is free writing? It’s when you pick up a pen and write without dedicated thought. You are actually not trying to make sense with words at all. It’s a way for the brain to dump out things not relevant to the task at hand, and in doing so, you can actually end up writing a paragraph that makes total sense and is a gem! Kind of without your conscious knowledge.
Type instead if you prefer that to a pen. Sit down and type nothingness. Just words that don’t string together as if you’re plucking them randomly from a dictionary. It’s been known to work for people and could aid you too. There’s a lot of information about free writing online.
There you have it – 10 things to get you out of the writers block blues.
You can change the world by changing the way you think. When you think about solutions you will attract more ideas, and more solutions will flow into your life. We’re waiting with a virtual high five for when you’re out of the block and ready with a song. Please share it with us. We love hearing from you.