Sometimes I stare at my computer screen hoping words will magically appear like I am in some alternate Harry Potter universe – but, they don’t.
The page stays blank and so does my mind. My head keeps ticking. Why can’t I write my (insert creative documentation here)?
Writer’s block affects us all. It hits us at the worst of times and your head feels like you’ve downed three tequila shots with a pinch of self-loathing.
This is my gospel, on how to overcome writer’s block and I promise only 69% of the list is boring, would it be cliché to say I had writer’s block writing this list?
1. Walk the hell away.
Yes, I know, walk away? With a tight deadline? Are you joking? No. I am not joking. The kindest thing we can do for ourselves is to walk away. Only temporarily. Go for a walk or a run or start shredding for stereo. Whatever it is, take yourself away from your writing apparatus for a short while and reboot the whole system. Sometimes, a bit of fresh air and a change of scenery can do wonders for the good ol’ creative juices.
2. Listen to ‘rad’ tunes.
Turn on your vinyl player and play some rad tunes. Don’t have a vinyl player? Are you even a creative? Just play some music. There’s something about listening to other creatives that can help you find your rhythm again (excuse the pun).
3. You time
You time, is always important. Especially when you’re banging your head because your article won’t just write itself or your character is almost as stuck as you are, or you’re left with a dangling preposition. Sometimes a bath, a shower or aiming for that kill streak of the century will be just as effective as hitting yourself with a MacBook air.
Just some sort of pampering can do you well. When we write, produce, paint or do anything creative we do it for others. And in turn sometimes we can lose ourselves in the process. Giving yourself some love will help you produce better work, work that will show that you loved yourself in the process.
How zen of you, meditate? Thanks what a great tip, sit in silence for 30 minutes and hate myself more. I’d rather nap thanks. My internal monologue when someone had said to meditate when I have writer’s block. The funny thing? It works.
Turning everything off, disconnecting for 30 minutes and just focus on your breathing. Sitting down and just reflecting, and in a sense switching off for a while, can clear what was a mix of words, frustrations and an overflow of emotion. Candles and incense optional.
5. Kill your darlings.
No, I am not condoning murder. Sometimes, writers block isn’t such a bad thing. Sometimes it allows us to walk away and come back to our work with fresh eyes. These fresh eyes may see our work and realise there’s something different or another direction to go.
This could potentially be the hardest step, but to ‘kill your darlings’ is to have the strength to start again. Drag that Word Document into the trash icon. Put that half-painted canvas away, get a fresh script-writing book.
Killing your darlings is quite severe but is necessary in some circumstances to produce better work. Most of the time, the new work, the reboot, will be better than the work you had been mulling over.
Writer’s block isn’t always a creative’s nightmare. Writer’s block can sometimes allow ourselves to have a new perspective on our work. Sometimes writers block is what we need to reevaluate, get re-inspired and feel rejuvenated.
Words by Gemala Darmadi
IG – @maladarmadi
Art by Sam Ward
IG – @samward_design