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7 Steps to Overcoming Writer’s Block

Daniel Hartwin is a bonafide Gentle man living and working in Newyork city. He is a librarian who reads a lot of books.

If all else fails, keep a running notebook of ideas you want to save for later. And don’t forget to keep all of your work to look back on; you never know which ideas you’ll want to revisit or explore further.

If all else fails, keep a running notebook of ideas you want to save for later. And don’t forget to keep all of your work to look back on; you never know which ideas you’ll want to revisit or explore further.

Writer's block does not discriminate.

Whether you're a journalist, author, tech publisher, blogger, or poet, chances are you've already experienced this. Even if you're not staring at a blank page waiting for the words to appear, you may have writer's block if you find yourself hesitating.

But I'll tell you a little secret: writer's block is a myth.

In fact, writing is difficult. But all difficulties can be overcome. Here are some ways to avoid it.

Seven steps to overcome writer's block

There are countless ways to overcome the infamous writer's block. Here I have narrowed them down to a few. Find out what applies to you and run with it.

1. Eliminate distractions

If you can't concentrate, you can't write. Start by evaluating your environment. What is stopping you from doing the job? Is your desk cluttered? Does your phone keep ringing? Is faulty technology holding you back?

Organize your workspace. Containers, folders, and labels are a great way to group existing content so you know where to find it later. You might also consider decorating your space with pictures or trinkets to motivate and inspire you.

Then mute your phone or put it in airplane mode or do not disturb. The endless stream of notifications can be tempting, but distractions are the last thing you need when you start typing.

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2. Create an outline

Nothing is more intimidating than a blank page. Write down the notes you don't want to forget and then organize them into a seamless structure. There are many ways to do this. And if none of them work, it could be a sign that you need to investigate further before proceeding.

Brain dump is basically recording your stream of consciousness on paper. Write down any thoughts that come to your mind and then make a list of what you have. For best results, set a timer so you don't go off track.

Concept mapping is a more visual approach to drawing. It's like in elementary school: focus on the main idea, from which the supporting details emerge.

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Flowcharts are great for helping you understand a complicated process. Use the arrows to set the chronological order of the steps or events, then list the bullet points under each topic if you need to go into more detail.

3. Read the work of others

Pay attention to trends related to your topic. What are people talking about? What aren't people talking about that maybe they should be talking about? What problem has not yet been addressed or solved? Reading the work of others can help you find a unique perspective on your own.

However, keep in mind that reading the work of others is in no way an excuse for plagiarism. You may see someone else's idea and draw inspiration from it to write. In this case, it is important to always mention the sources.

4. Use command prompts

If researching and reading other people's work still doesn't solve your writer's block, it's a good idea to seek out writing inspiration. Even if you don't find them original, they can be a good starting point to help you think about your suggestions.

5. Change the scenario

Try not to work in the same places where you rest or play. If your home or office is too annoying (or boring), move to a nearby café or library. Writing outside, or even near an open window, can also give you fresh air to oxygenate your brain.

However, beware of distractions. Some people need background noise to focus; others need rest and peace. Keep this in mind when looking for your ideal place to write. Also, you don't want to go to a place where you know your friends will be; as much as you like them, they are a surefire way to destroy your productivity.

Once you've settled into your seat and have everything you need, take a few minutes to pay attention to your surroundings. Write what you observe. People watching is a great way to find hidden inspiration for your next job.

6. Remember to take breaks

It is true that some people do better under pressure. But too much pressure can overwhelm you. Make sure you don't ignore your physical needs, such as going to the bathroom, eating, drinking, and stretching.

A good rule of thumb is: take a short 5-15 minute break every hour or so. Then, depending on the task, reward yourself every two to four hours with a longer break of at least 30 minutes.

7. Save the change for later

One of the biggest obstacles to writing is the fear of imperfection. To overcome this, you have to accept that writing is a process. No first draft is born perfect. Remove everything and then take care to polish it.While you may think that editing yourself (or changing each sentence as written) will be beneficial in the long run, it only increases the production time. You may also forget the word you had on the tip of your tongue when you are too busy reading behind you.

If you're still worried about the cleanliness of your text, it's okay to ask a friend or family member to proofread your work before submitting it. You will be able to capture things you may have missed after watching it for so long.

© 2022 Daniel Hartwin

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