Everyone worries about how to get rid of writer’s block once they have it, but why not prevent it before it starts? This is a list of proven block stoppers.
1. Sleep: There’s actually science to support this one. Eight hours of sleep helps you reboot your brain, think more clearly and be more creative. Lack of sleep makes it difficult to make connections. Even the easy stuff becomes difficult.
2. Eat: Eat healthy foods. Eat a variety of foods. Watch how much alcohol and caffeine you drink. This will keep you well. It’s hard to be creative if you get every cold and flu that comes your way.
3. Exercise: Now, I’m not saying that you need to join a gym or get to Terry Crews size to prevent writer’s block. I am saying that you need to move every day and get your heart pumping. Take a walk, play some basketball or toss a tennis ball for your dog.
4. Read: If you want to write, you should read constantly. There are few pleasures as great for a writer as finding a great book to read. Don’t just read a great book, reread it and absorb its secrets. Then use them.
5. Keep Learning: Take a class, go to a museum, read a trade magazine for an industry you know nothing about or watch a weird documentary. Just keep learning, the world is huge. The minute it starts to feel like there’s nothing left to discover, it will also feel like there’s nothing much to write about.
6. Write Every Day: Even if it’s only for 15 minutes, write every day. Develop a pattern, a constant rhythm, that can’t be broken. If you write every day, it will become as effortless and necessary as breathing. Better to write for a short period every day than for marathon sessions when a deadline is looming.
7. Listen to People Talk: Don’t just lecture or tell stories, really listen to what other people have to say. These are your characters, your inspirations and you should steal all you can. Practicing unjudgemental listening opens the door to hearing everything going on in someone else’s head. Ask lots of questions and listen to the answers. Using details from other people’s lives is a lot easier than making something up from scratch.
8. Lower your Standards: Poet William Stafford said, “I believe that the so-called ‘writing block’ is a product of some kind of disproportion between your standards and your performance … One should lower his standards until there is no felt threshold to go over in writing. It’s easy to write. You just shouldn’t have standards that inhibit you from writing.”
9. Get Rid of the Doubters in your Life: Have someone in your life that doesn’t think you’re really a writer and that you’re wasting your time? Either learn to ignore them or get rid of them. Dump them. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known them. You already have enough doubt inside your head without having to put up with some jerk adding more doubt outside your head.