Jolt Yourself Out of Writer’s Block

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No one likes writer’s block. You’ll never meet a writer who fondly recalls their experience with the phenomena. Unfortunately, you’ll probably never meet a writer who hasn’t dealt with it, either. Whether you have writer’s block now, or you just want to be ready for when you have it later in your work, here are some tried and true ways to smash through the block.

Take a Page from Victor Hugo’s Book

Write naked. Sound weird? It kind of is, but it seemed to work for Victor Hugo. According popular tradition, the acclaimed writer stripped and locked himself away to write. Why is this a good idea? There are two ways this could benefit you. First of all, physical change jumpstarts the imagination. It forces the brain to analyze new input and sensations, which is a cornerstone of the creative process. Your skin is sensitive. Exposing more of it to strange, new feelings is the creative equivalent of dumping a bucket of cold water over your head.

The second way this may help, if you do it regularly, is habit. Just like Pavlov’s dog automatically drooled when it heard the dinner bell, if you train yourself to write in a certain condition, it will tell your body and mind that it’s time to focus on writing.

Prepare Visual Stimulation

You probably put together some kind of decoupage or collage project in arts and crafts during school. It’s fun to look for things that inspire you in magazines and newspapers. It’s a time-consuming process, but some writers still follow this traditional method to gather muse fodder. However, there is a simpler and easier way to do this.

Have you ever heard of Pinterest? This free website lets you gather images and links from all over the internet to create unique “boards” with as many or as few of those images as you like. You can also search the millions of images gathered by other users. It’s a popular site for artists, and it should be more popular for writers. Creating inspiration boards can help you break writer’s block. The visual stimulation moves your mind away from rigid sentence structure and word choice. It helps you reengage with your story through color, mood, and imagery. It’s an incredibly useful tool, and it’s woefully underutilized.

Get Out of Your Environment

If you have writer’s block, then you may be stuck in a fairly physical rut. Take some time to climb out of it. Great writers like Stephen King often discuss their walking habits in relation to writer’s block, and some of their best ideas come with moving feet. So, when you just can’t think of anything, or the words refuse to come out right, go for a walk. Leave your cloistered writing sanctuary and explore the great beyond. Your thoughts will follow you. Sometimes your mind needs fresh air as much as your lungs do.

Everyone snaps out of writer’s block differently, but these are some of the most effective solutions. Find what works for you, but be ready to change things down the line. Writer’s block creeps up on you, and it may find a way to beat your favorite solution. So long as you have options, though, you’ll always beat it in the end.


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