Sometimes, even the most dedicated of writers can find it difficult figuring out how to get in a writing mood, sit down at their desk and get anything out. Writer’s block can feel like an absolute curse, but there are quick and easy ways to conquer it. Here are 19 tips that will help you figure out the best way to have those brilliant words flowing again in no time.
1. Find the Perfect Writing Space
Writers can often be seriously impacted by the atmosphere around them, making it absolutely crucial that you find a comfortable space where you feel driven and motivated right from the start of your day.
Whatever works for you is the best way, so stop doubting yourself and stick to it.
- You could try setting yourself up in the corner of the local coffee shop.
- You may be someone who struggles to get work done with constant interruptions. If you can’t make yourself focus at home, why not try the local library for a bit of peace and quiet?
- Maybe you’re someone who needs things to be neat and organized before you can get to work. Give yourself 10 or 15 minutes to tidy up and declutter your space before you start.
2. Let Yourself Write Badly
Often enough, the pressure of having to write that perfect sentence can be enough to completely stifle your imagination or flow. However, it’s important to remember that not every phrase needs to be life changing and not every word needs to leave an impression.
Instead of focusing on reaching these idealized expectations, try letting yourself write badly for a little while. Just write what comes to you, even if you know it’s not your best. Sometimes, the most surprising and unexpected idea can come out of the worst garbage.
3. Turn Writing Into a Habit
A habit is, by definition, a tendency or a practice that’s hard to give up, which is exactly what you want writing to become. You want to feel as if this is something that you absolutely have to do right from the first moment you wake up.
By taking your writing and turning it into a habit that sticks, you’ll quickly notice that sitting down and just getting started will become easier and easier as the days go by.
Stick to a plan and force yourself into that space, even when you’d rather be doing just about anything else, so that you can start turning it into an expected part of your day as soon as you can.
Give Yourself a Reward
When you train an animal to do a trick or your child to go to the bathroom by themselves, you always make sure to reward them when they’ve accomplished something, so why should your writing be any different?
While writing something you love and are proud of can certainly be its own reward, giving yourself that extra pat on the back can be a great way to give yourself some positive association with writing rather than turning it into a stressful, anxiety-filled obligation.
Have you finally finished that 10-page essay you’ve been working on? Why not treat yourself to a few episodes of your favorite TV show? Or, if you’re setting slightly smaller goals, a nice piece of chocolate at the end could be just what you need to refocus and keep going.
5. Call Out Your Own Excuses
You know yourself better than anyone, and so there’s really no one better to call yourself out when you’re making excuses. Are you really tired and need a bit of a break or did you just feel like sitting down and watching television?
By checking yourself and recognizing when you’re really just making an excuse to not work will be key to figuring out how to get in a writing mood. Become the person you want to impress most in the world so that you’ll stop letting yourself get away with whatever you can whenever you can.
6. Head Out on a Jog Beforehand
While you might absolutely loathe the idea of heading over to the gym, in reality, exercise can be one of the best ways to get your head back in the game. Exercise is incredibly important to not only your body’s health, but your mind’s as well.
It will help give you more energy which will make you more motivated to get things done, as well as bring an abundance of oxygen to the brain, which can help get your thoughts moving in the right direction.
7. Create a Personal Contract
Do you think that creating a personal contract with yourself and holding yourself to it is impossible? Think again. Many people find that when they’ve signed a document agreeing to accomplish a certain amount of work by a certain point that they’re actually much more likely to get it done.
Our instincts tell us that we need to take care of the goals we’ve promised to do, and so by creating this binding contract with yourself and placing it somewhere you frequently pass, you’ll be giving yourself that extra motivation to get back to work.
8. Fill Your Circle with Other Writers
When it comes to understanding the slumps and other challenges that writers face, there’s really no one better than writers themselves. By filling your circle with other writers who understand what you’re going through and who can help motivate you to stay focused, you’ll be much more likely to start holding yourself to and accomplishing your goals.
If you can’t find any in-person writer’s groups, then you might want to check out some online forums such as Absolute Write or Critique Circle, both of which boast amazing communities where writers strive to encourage and push one another to greatness.
9. Stop Comparing Yourself
Many writers find themselves struggling to start simply because they can’t help but compare themselves to the greatest authors of all time. While sitting down and drawing inspiration from great authors is certainly a brilliant step to take, it shouldn’t be the standard you try and hold yourself to.
You need to remember that you have your own voice to share and that it’s just as worthy as any other author’s, no matter where you’re at on your journey.
10. Meditation Works
If you’re finding yourself struggling to focus or let go of your day-to-day concerns when you sit down to write, then you may want to try meditating to get your mind where it needs to be. Meditation used to have a slightly hippy association with it, but, nowadays, more and more people are coming to understand the serious benefits that this simple relaxation technique can provide.
Of course, getting started can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Check out this beginners guide to meditation so that you can learn how to easily apply these tips and techniques to start your day off right.
11. Give Yourself That Caffeine Boost
Coffee has been the staple drink of writers for decades, and with good reason. Sometimes, the brain just needs that extra boost of caffeine to get itself going again. Now, while the amount of caffeine will depend on a wide range of factors, including the type of bean, the roasting technique used, as well as the serving size, you can expect that a standard cup of coffee will usually have an average of 95 mg of caffeine.
This means that you can get about four to six hours worth of this boosted energy to help you accomplish your writing goals.
12. Listen to Your Favorite Music
Music can be a great source of inspiration, and can also help give you the energy you need to refocus and get those words flowing. All too often do writers try and force themselves to sit and stay to reach their goals, but this will likely result in either terrible writing or nothing at all.
Taking a few minutes to dance around to your favorite song can give you the mental break you need. Listening to the lyrics may even give you some new ideas that you’ll absolutely love.
13. Start with Free Writing
Freewriting is a technique that many authors use to just get their ideas out onto the page. What you need to do is simply write down any and every thought and idea that comes into your head without worrying about grammar, spelling, or consistency. Just write.
Whether your mind is wandering to the current state of world politics or the strange clown and unicorn dream you had in the middle of the night, anything and everything you’re thinking about should go onto the page.
Taking a look at what you’ve written down afterward can be a great source of inspiration or just a great way to clear your head and refocus on the task at hand. Either way, taking these 10 or so minutes at the start of every day will be a tremendous benefit while helping you figure out how to get in a writing mood.
14. Remember Why You’re Doing it
Sometimes, writers become so focused on reaching their end goals that they forget why they started writing in the first place.
- Do you want to share everything you’ve been able to learn about a certain subject?
- Maybe you simply love the idea of sharing your thoughts and opinions with as many people as you can.
By taking a few moments to sit back and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and why you love it so much, you can really help yourself to get back on track.
15. Find the Right (Write) Time
You may feel that need to jump right into work the moment you get up, or you might not, and that’s perfectly fine. There’s no perfect time to write. It all depends on what works best for you. Some people find that inspiration simply doesn’t hit until the sun goes down, and they’ll then spend a large chunk of the evening sitting down and typing out everything they can.
There are others who just can’t wait to get to that computer first thing in the morning, even before the first cup of coffee. Stick with what works for you, rather than what you think everyone else expects.
16. Give Your Other Hobbies Some Attention
When all you’re doing is trying to focus on writing and writing everything you can, it can often stop feeling like passion and start feeling more like a job. While you definitely want to make writing your career, it should be something you get excited about and not something you dread.
Taking the time out to do other things that you love can be a great way to relieve some of the pressure.
- Have you always had an interest in painting? Check out some local painting courses and pick up a few tips.
- Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to bake. Many local culinary schools will offer courses that anyone can join to hone their cooking and baking skills.
Find something that you enjoy and throw yourself into it so that when you get back to the computer you feel refreshed and ready to go.
17. Use Your Own Jealousy
Have you ever found yourself reading someone’s blog and just started getting jealous of everything they’ve accomplished and everything they’ve been able to do? Well, it’s time to take that jealousy and turn it into motivation.
Checking out what your colleagues and competitors are doing is a great way to give yourself the kick in the behind you need to push yourself to the next level. Make sure you read as much as you can so that you stay motivated and hungry for success.
18. Start with Something Fresh
Are you finding it nearly impossible to make any progress on your current project? Then, why not try starting something new? Many writers feel like they absolutely have to finish whatever it is they’re working on at the moment, rather than allowing themselves and their minds to wander.
Starting on a new project and leaving the first one, for the time being, can be just the thing you need to gain a fresh perspective.
19. Create Your Own Inspirational Poster
Each and every day you pass by something that inspires you and motivates you to be better. Rather than just leaving it behind, capture it with your camera or jot it down and then hang it on the wall to look at whenever you feel stuck.
Creating your own little inspiration corner can be a great way to remind yourself what you’re trying to accomplish and where you want to go. Walking past this space and immersing yourself in it will be a great way to motivate yourself to get that work done at the start of every day.
No matter what kind of writer you are or what you’re hoping to accomplish, sometimes getting started can be the hardest part. Keep these tips in mind and stay focused on reaching your writing goals today.