Every so often, I get a serious case of writer’s block. Like tonight for example. I think I just stared at the screen for about two hours because I couldn’t think of anything to write. But I suppose I’m pretty used to it, especially being a copywriter. Sometimes when I need a clever headline or a witty quote, my brain freezes up, making it impossible to have a coherent thought. When it comes to that, I have a few things I always do to get myself back on track:
1. Read the thesaurus. I tend to stick to the online versions, but once in a blue moon when I’m really stuck, I pull out the giant thesaurus I have sitting on my desk. I try to make it like a game. How many words can I string together before getting back to the same word. Or I like to see how far I can stray from the original word I looked up. Yeah, I’m a total nerd.
2. Make words lists. Post-Its are pretty much my best friend. One of my college professors once had us do an exercise where we were given a product and then had 5 minutes to write every single word that popped into our head. The goal was to fill as many sheets of paper as possible, so you didn’t have time to dwell on each specific word. And it worked. Everyone in the class ended up with really clever ideas they hadn’t thought of before.
3. Avoid over-thinking. I tend to do it way too often. If you’re too critical of your ideas, it might hinder the creative process. When in doubt, write it out, even if it seems silly. You never know where that thought might lead you. Plus, sometimes it helps to clear your mind of the crazies.
4. If time isn’t an issue, put the project aside and try again later. That’s usually the best time to sneak in a little surf of the Internet. Sometimes catching up on celebrity gossip helps you think, right?
5. Doodle. I personally tend to favor palm trees, flowers and fun geometric patterns showing off all the colors of the Sharpie rainbow. I never quite got over my love of coloring.
But tonight, none of them seemed to work. So I thought I’d cure my writer’s block by just writing about writer’s block. And in the meantime, see how many times I could write the word “write” in a post. Write, write, write!
Do any of you have any cures for writer’s block? If so, go ahead and share with the class. Happy writing everyone!