Stuck and can't get words out?

Stuck and can't get the words out? Try this trick: Stop writing for a while.

Stuck and can't get words out?

Stuck and can't get the words out? Try this trick: Stop writing. For a short while anyway.

I used to think that I never suffer from writer's block. And it's true to a certain extent - I've been blessed to write practically every day, for over 15 years.

But I've come to realise that it's not all smooth sailing, even if I'm generally optimistic about things.

There were times when:

  • I make excruciating progress.
  • I write, re-write, and then delete it all.
  • I type out stuff that just doesn't make sense.

Sounds familiar? Truth is, we are not ChatGPT, and our creativity ebbs and flows.

Here are some strategies I've developed to cope.

📺 𝟭/ 𝗧𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸

Head out for lunch, grab a snack, or do something unrelated to writing. As humans, we have a finite amount of energy or mental focus. A short break often does wonders.

Read about Flow versus time here:

✅ 𝟮/ 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘀

What if you are still stuck even after taking a break? Sadly, our fast-paced society often makes it impossible to just call it quits and take the rest of the day off.

One alternative is to work on other matters; shift your focus to other tasks or projects that require less creative energy, such as editing, research, or administrative work.

🛏️ 𝟯/ 𝗧𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗻𝗮𝗽

Now you are really fretting at the blank page. You're at Inbox Zero and still the words are not flowing. Oh dear.

New research suggests that those who are slightly sleep deprived - but over an extended period, get worse in cognitive performance, but don't realise it.

In fact, the cognitive performance of sleeping just 6 hours a day for over a week was as bad as those who didn't sleep for two days straight!

And yes, apparently, we are notorious for overestimating how much we sleep.

🏃‍♂️ 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆, 𝘀𝗲𝘁, 𝗴𝗼!

When you come back to the page with fresh eyes and well-rested, chances are that the words will start flowing again.

What about yourself? What do you do when words refuse to come?

Image Credit: DALL-E 3