Beating writers block and getting out of a slump

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Written By Samuel Laurie

Getting stuck on a project or feeling like you are in a slump is definitely not beneficial to your productivity or wellbeing. Taking care of yourself is vital for not only breaking out of a slump but for defeating the dreaded writers block.

Take a break

Taking time to rest and reset your brain can be incredibly beneficial. Time off can do wonders for restocking your mental energy and creativity; but if you’re in the middle of a project and can’t completely stop and relax for a few days or more don’t fret! There are many simple and quick ways to take time for yourself. A great way to reset is to take a short break and do something you enjoy, particularly if it releases some good endorphins; spending time with loved ones, exercising, watching a movie, even something as simple as taking your lunch break outside and enjoying the fresh spring air and sunshine can make sitting back down to write feel like less of a drag.

Take stock

Asking yourself why you’re struggling with writers block. Is the client constantly making changes? Is it a topic you’re unfamiliar with? Is it the last project before you go on holidays and you’re just itching to get it over with so you can relax? Sometimes unfortunately the answer is just powering through, even if it feels more like your crawling to the finish line. But if that’s not the case, or perhaps you feel like your slump is more long term, there are other questions you might be better off asking. How is your health; both physical and mental? Have you had a major life event?  Taking care of yourself is vitally important. You can’t write well and create work you are proud of if a different and large underlying issue is taking up all your energy.

Take your time

Whether or not you take a break, taking the opportunity to consume and create content for yourself instead of a client can be cathartic. Trying your hand at other forms of writing will keep those writing muscles engaged as well as provide a distraction. If you’ve always loved poetry but haven’t written any in years because you’ve been too busy, take some time for yourself and write what you want. Or try your hand at creating stories to read your kids at bedtime, or start the novel you’ve always wanted to. If you’ve taken a break and find yourself worrying about getting out of practise or the habit of writing, these types of activities can help you get back into the flow of writing, and if you’ve just got writers block because your current project has you feeling uninspired; thinking about a different topic and in a different way might end up showing you the answer to your problem when you’re not looking for it.