Don’t get too frustrated when you experience writer’s block. It is not a problem but an opportunity. Your brain pulls the emergency brake and tells you to change things and try a different track. Yes: writer’s block is a perfect chance to change your writing habits and evolve as a writer. Get out of your bubble. You may even learn some new things.
The human mind likes its rituals and habits. They are familiar and feel nice and comfortable. You may not have noticed it but when you have been writing for a while you develop your own writing habits. Does this sound familiar? You always start writing at the same time each day. And you: sit in the same place, use the same computer and wordprocessor, listen to the same (kind of) music, eat the same snacks and drink the same coffee or tea.
One trick pony
But what you may not notice – but your readers probably do – is that the things you write are also becoming less inspired. You are becoming a one trick pony. The things you write come from your own frame of reference. That is a complex set of assumptions and attitudes which we use to filter perceptions to create meaning. A frame of reference is a hard thing to change. But you can tweak it a little bit. To do that you must break out of your bubble. You need to get out of your comfort zone and try and learn new things.
These are the things I tried
Do you experience writer’s block? Grab the opportunity to break out of your bubble! These are the things that worked for me.
I started reading more books. Not just more but also new books from writers I did not know. I tried some books that I would normally not pick up. And the good news is that I liked them all. One of those books is ‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers. Try it!
Listen to music
Instead of clicking on the same playlists each time, I started listening to different musical styles. Things I never listened to before. From classical music (Bach & Beethoven) to Synthwave and artists like Charles Aznavour. And again: I loved them all!
Learn new things
This is a great way to challenge your brain. Learning new things is something we usually stop doing when we are in our thirties or forties. I started with learning chess. Not just the basics but also the different strategies. I also started learning to code in Python. My next project is to learn a foreign language. I am thinking of learning Spanish of French. Or maybe even Chinese.
Exercise is always a good way to get those creative juices flowing. But you can also try some new things. Instead of my usual exercise routine (running, cardio) I tried new things like: lifting weights and even martial arts like Aikido and Kung Fu. You will get fit and maybe you will even discover some new muscles you did not know you had!
A few times per year I grab my laptop, backpack and drive to a new city. Then I park my car and just start walking. Whenever I see a nice spot I sit down, open my laptop and start writing. Sometimes I sit in a local library, a coffeeshop or in a park. At the end of the day I walk back to my car and drive home. Simple, right?
Whenever you experience writer’s block, don’t get frustrated and grab the opportunity to try and learn new things. You will definitely discover new things and I promise you that you won’t regret it!