We’ve all been there. You’re writing along swimmingly and then, without warning, all words run away from you. Nothing. Nada. You couldn’t write a coherent thought if your life depended on it.
For freelancers and bloggers, our productivity lapses generally mean the dreaded writer’s block has set itself squarely in our path. And this can happen whether we are copywriting for catalog printing or blogging, or this productivity lapse can also extend to when we run into new problems that are outside of our comfort zone. If you find yourself staring through the screen, wondering what to do next, this article is for you.
Make it Come to You
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. The best way to stick it to writer’s block is to close your computer or set down your pen, step away from the situation, and go do something fun. This does not mean to take the opportunity to get on Facebook or surf the web. Get up and get active. Do some jumping jacks, give your hula hoop a twirl, go outside and soak up some Vitamin D. Allow your brain to relax. Getting away from the situation will allow for your mind to reset, so when you go back to get some work done, it can focus. This is also a great time to drink some water. A hydrated brain is a happy brain. A happy brain does what you need it to do.
If you can’t think of something immediately to write, don’t freak out. There is a legitimate biological reason for why you can’t think when you’re panicked. You think with your frontal lobe (the part behind the forehead). All your rationality stays here and makes you look good. However, when freak-out mode slips in, the hormones released activate a different part of the brain (the hypothalamus) and bypass the frontal lobe. In these times, you literally cannot think straight. So breathe deeply and start with something small. Hemingway says that in these times, you begin with one sentence. One concrete, basic sentence about your particular topic. You can write one sentence. When you have one, write another one. Suddenly the dam holding your thoughts captive will be broken.
If step two doesn’t do it for you, start writing about something entirely different. Take a few minutes and write about something interesting or fun. When you have done this for a while, turn back to your original subject. It won’t see you coming, and you’ll dominate it with ease.
Change of Scenery
Part of your lack of productivity might have to do with your setting. Try sitting on the floor, going into another room, or finding a coffee shop that you work well in. Find a place that fits your mood and that you can feel comfortable, at ease in. Like getting active, changing your setting will allow you to see your topic from, literally, a different point of view.
Phone a Friend!!!
When you’re at a loss for words, no doubt your friends are not. Try calling one up and verbally process whatever it is you’re working on with them. Tell them the ideas you have down so far, what they think of them, how they would change them. Then ask them if they have anything new to add to your list of ideas. Since they haven’t been sitting there racking their brains all day, they can offer you a fresh perspective. Exploit this fact.
So don’t allow a lapse in productivity slow you down. Instead, try one of the methods above to beat a case of writer’s block away.