How Do You Overcome Writer’s Block?

Sex and the City

It could be that I’ve been watching a lot of Sex and the City recently or that I’m still not over having written a 15-page paper last semester, but I can’t get the idea of writer’s block out of my head. I’ll start by sharing my own personal definition of what I believe to be “writer’s block.”

(noun) The maddening inability to translate one’s thoughts into words, or to even form these thoughts in the first place.

While I can’t pinpoint an exact instance where I suffered from writer’s block, I know that many of my peers have–including my roommate currently sitting next to me staring blankly at her computer screen, waiting for “inspiration to strike.” She feels creatively blocked, as if her brain is resisting any urge to form coherent thoughts. To me, this sounds physically and emotionally painful. And as I watch her opt for procrastination instead of perseveration, I wonder…how do you, as writers, overcome writer’s block?

Perhaps this post is a preventative call for help from fellow Minors before I dig even deeper into my Capstone project, but I do wonder if anyone would be willing to share their go-to process or activity for overcoming this terrifying condition–one that infects all writers: fiction and nonfiction, professional and amateur. It could be anything from meditating for 20 minutes (as I suggested to my roommate), going to the IM building for a quick workout, or even staring at your computer endlessly waiting until the thoughts start to flow.

Meditation

Any and all tips are appreciated (and I’ll be sure to share them with my roommate).

Remembering what’s outside the “writer zone”

“I feel so uninspired!”

That was me a few minutes ago. I admit – I’ve been sitting at this desk simply dallying for way too long now. I wrote three paragraphs that sounded pretty decent at first, but, when reread, sounded downright boring. So here I am, waving my white flag and surrendering to my lack of inspiration.

The beginning of my writing process used to start out this way. I sat down somewhere quiet, let my cup of coffee slowly turn cold, stared off into space for long periods of time, and hoped that somehow, anyhow, I would feel a sudden, thrilling spark of inspiration. That last bit almost never happened. Even when it did, I still doubted that the inspiration was really good enough. What if my idea wasn’t actually a smart one? What if it was just an idea I’d pick up somewhere and thought I was good enough to think of? Whose voice am I writing in then? The obsessing normally came to a halt only when I glanced at the clock and realized how much time I’d wasted mostly spacing out and entertaining an immature hope. Read More