How to combat writer’s block

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Calvin and Hobbes would make great salesmen.

Writer’s block.

No two words conjure more dread in the minds of a fledging or even an experienced writer than that. That phase of not knowing what to write about or not able to find the right words or topic to write about is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of being a writer.

But then again, the question that arises in every writer’s mind is “How do I fight it? How do I prevent it?“. Well, long story short.

You can’t. 

Writer’s block is an inescapable part of the equation that makes you a writer. It’s like the appendix. You don’t need it, but it’s there. Once it does grow though, it grieves you to no end. In the case of the writer, it prevents said writer from writing about anything.

But you can fight it. To an extent.

Below are some tips I’ve found useful to combat writer’s block to a considerable extent. They might work for you, they might not work for you. The mileage varies for each person aspiring to be a writer.

1. Write

Now you must be thinking, “Well, aren’t you the genius, you effing nimrod. That’s my problem!!! I don’t what to write about!!“.

Is your mind filled with restless, incoherent thoughts? Write it or type it.

Is your mind blank as a clean state? Good, write about how your mind is blank and you can’t bring yourself to write about anything less other than the void in your mind. 

Basically, what I’m saying is, find some reason to write, no matter how inane or stupid the reason might seem. Just type some incoherent nonsense if you’re currently suffering from writer’s block. Take it from a guy who took endless typing tests online to fight off my writer’s block.

That feeling of the pen or keyboard should never fade away.

2. Conversations

They say the internet can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you use it. We’ll focus on the blessing part of the internet. It’s made the world into a much smaller place. Conversations that used to be held in bottles and pigeons across borders are now happening at the speed of sound. Or light…Let’s not dwell on the semantics of it.

Try conversing with different people that you might have befriended online via Facebook or Instagram or whatever social network you’re in. Albeit safely, mind you. Not everyone on the internet is a Mr. Goody Two-Shoes.

While internet chats are well and all, nothing beats a face to face conversation in real life. Meet different people, befriend them, get to know their opinions and beliefs. You’d be amazed at how much the world has to offer for a writer.

3. Clubs

There is a club for everything these days. Be it a movie club, a book club or a hobby for collecting stamps, there’s a club for it too. You’ll find like-minded people and interacting with them will be an eye-opening experience for you.

If you have a case of stage fright, you can join a ToastMasters club in your area. You can interact with different people, level up your leadership skills and conquer your stage fright while you’re at it. Want to complete a Ironman challenge? Join your local athletes club and get it done.

Joining a club gives you new experiences to write about, new memories to remember and a broader mind to analyze and accept things for what they are.

4. Travel

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac

Nothing broadens your horizons like travelling. It doesn’t have to be an exotic location or a popular tourist spot. It can be something offbeat or some place that has caught your fancy. Meeting different people and learning their cultures will give you new experiences that you can write about.

You can either choose to go as a group or hitchhike solo to the place that you’ve always fancied visiting. It will probably be one of the best experiences in your life.

5. Read

This point goes without saying for anyone fancying themselves to be a writer. Read anything good. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Ulysses or The Handmaid’s Tale (great books, as they are). It can be articles in magazines, comic books, light novels. Graduate from there to novels.

Besides giving you new ideas, you can also pick on the finer nuances of writing from some of the literary greats and pick their brain to develop your own writing style. You can also try out new ways to present your content in a more engaging content by reading books.

Besides that, a book is equivalent to the mindset of a person. Essentially, you are peeking into the brain of the writer by reading a book and are thinking about his ideas.

6. Breaking the comfort zone

Try something new out of your comfort zone everyday. All of the points above correlate to this final point. Essentially, gaining new experiences allows you to think differently from what you thought before and that broadens your mind.

Want to try cooking, but never done it before? Don’t think about it and just do it. It might give you a new experience and a skill to treasure. Being in a comfort zone for far too long is also partially responsible for writer’s block. So just get on that side project that’s been gestating for far too long because it’s a lot of work.

Break your limits every time. It helps.

These are all the insights I can offer for the up and coming writer wanting to continue his streak of writing great articles and posts. That’s it for today.