We've all been there ... staring at the same blank page for far too long. But how do you overcome being at a loss for words?
Whether it's a term paper for school, a thank-you note that seems so inadequate, or a report for work, writer's block is a legitimate struggle we all face. Here are some quick tips to try when you're grasping for words ... any words to get down on paper.
Take a Deep Breath
While this sounds simple, it is simple. Take a moment to take a deep, cleansing breath. You might want to close your eyes as you do this. Release tension in your shoulders, open your eyes, and take a fresh look at the blank page in front of you.
Change Your Scenery
Grab your notepad or laptop and head to the coffee shop, library, a meeting room, or another room in the house. A change in your surroundings and even the lighting in the room will do wonders in starting the creative flow of pros.
If words aren't coming to you, grab some colored pencils and begin drawing concepts. Even random doodling helps. As your mind shifts to the shapes and images you're creating, you might just find the right words and ideas begin to pop up in your brain.
Compose Random Words
Hitting a roadblock often reflects a sense of expected perfection to find just the right word or phrase to begin. Throw that idea out the window and begin writing random words: horse, cottage, longing, story, broccoli, and so on. As your muscles move to form or type the words, you may find more thoughtful and applicable phrases forming in your mind.
Search Online for Similar Topics
Need an idea just to get started? Google a keyword or phrase and glance at the results. Or use a tool such as Portent's Content Idea Generator. All you need to do is enter one word, and the generator produces a number of ideas and titles based on that word. Be careful. This is intended to be a quick search, not a lost hour of Internet searching.
Reward a Milestone
It might just be me, or maybe there are others who are young-at-heart. Rewards totally work for me. If I'm writing a 7,000-word term paper, I set a goal to take a break or enjoy a snack (hmmm, usually ice cream!) when I complete the first 1,000 words. Wanting that break or dreaming of the first bite of ice cream gets my fingers typing or hands writing in no time.
What do you do when you're struggling with writer's block? Tell us in the comments below.