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Have you ever experienced writer’s block?
A time when you know you need to write. You know you should write. But, you can’t.
Nothing you try writing sounds right. And you’re stuck.
Over the summer, I struggled with this frequently. I had time to write. I even had some quiet time to write (which when you have nine kids doesn’t always happen!)
But, when I sat down to write, nothing much happened.
My ideas seemed stuck. I was overly critical of my work. And a good dose of imposter syndrome started creeping in.
You know, the feeling of if I were a good writer I wouldn’t be struggling right now. Or why do I think I’m a writer when I can’t even write!
Honestly, I even considered calling it quits altogether. (A story for another day…)
Those thoughts can be devastating. But, I wanted to keep writing. So I tried some different strategies for overcoming my writing block.
Here’s a look at what worked best for me.
Get Outdoors & Active
Sitting and staring at a screen doesn’t inspire much creativity. So stand up and get moving. If you can head outside, that’s what helps me the most.
It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, as long as we’re moving. Sometimes the kids and I will play a game of freeze tag. Or they’ll try to beat me at tether ball.
Hide and seek is a favorite as well!
One of my newest discovered ways to get my heart pumping is to set my timer for fifteen minutes and split some firewood. That’s a whole body workout, let me tell you!
After my timer beeps, I call the kids over and we all work to stack the wood. Then we head back inside.
No matter what kind of exercise I pick, it all helps get my creative juices flowing again.
Drink Some Water
I’ve learned dehydration causes some serious havoc on the body! If I’m having trouble focusing, drinking a tall glass of water can help.
Write Something Different
Sometimes the key to overcoming writer’s block is to write something different for a while. This helps get you in the writing groove, and often helps everything get unstuck in your brain.
At least it works for me!
I try to switch to something totally different. If I’m struggling with a marketing blog post for a client, I work on a post about homesteading. Or I write some social media updates.
Sometimes I’ll even do some journaling or creative writing instead, especially if nothing else is working! There are plenty of creative writing prompts online if you’re looking for some.
The fun part of writing prompts for me is having the kids do it with me. We’ll all write a short story to finish the same prompt. Then we’ll read them all aloud.
Much laughter often follows. I think the laughing part helps me with the writer’s block too!
Read Some of Your Past Work
When writer’s block leads to imposter syndrome, I’ve found it helpful to read some of my favorite pieces. This helps remind me that I can write, other people thought my work was good enough to pay for, and encourages me to stop the negativity.
It’s much easier to overcome writer’s block if you aren’t hanging out with Eeyore!
Put On Some Background Noise
I’m used to writing in the noise! When I’m writing at night and the house is quiet, I struggle.
So I’ve started turning on the television or some music. I’ve gotten good at tuning out the actual words, but the noise in the background really helps!
Maybe you aren’t used to writing in noise. Think about what usually happens when you write. If you’re struggling with writer’s block, perhaps you’re subconsciously missing something you’re used to.
I’m naturally a procrastinator. I discovered this back in middle school as I sat on the bus in the morning and whipped out my homework for the day.
I realized the thrill of trying to beat the deadline helped me get it done. It was sort of a race against the clock.
I’ve learned procrastination on a deadline isn’t the wisest way to run a business. But, timers can help me recreate the beat the clock feeling.
So I’ll take a look at my outline and set a timer for fifteen minutes. I’m often amazed at how much I’m able to accomplish when the time is up.
Write By Hand
Writing by hand uses totally different muscles than typing. Sometimes it’s enough of a change to break through.
Grab a notebook, a pen or pencil, and sit down to write.
One huge benefit of writing on a laptop is its portability. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed to beat writer’s block.
A favorite spot of mine is outside on our porch. I can set up the laptop and sit and write while the kids play.
Do You Struggle with Writer’s Block?
I know I’m not the only one who gets writer’s block. I’m probably not even the only one who has writing block trigger a sense of being an imposter.
If you’re struggling as well, I hope these ideas help get your fingers back to typing. If you have other ideas, I’d love for you to share them in the comments.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.