10 Tips on Overcoming Writer’s Block
Video Production In London
Whether you’re writing a TV series or a script for a corporate video production we hope these tips spark some inspiration and stop your writer’s block.
What is writer’s block?
Writer’s block is “the condition of being unable to create a piece of written work because something in your mind prevents you from doing it”. If you’re reading this post then you probably already new that.
What causes writer’s block?
In the 70s two clinical psycologists named Jerome Singer and Michael Barios led a study to find out the origins of writer’s block. They decided on four main causes:
1. Excessively harsh self-criticism
2. Fear of comparison to other writers
3. Lack of external motivation, like attention and praise
4. Lack of internal motivation, like the desire to tell one’s story
So, let’s get into some tips that will help you out of writer’s block and into your best work so far.
1. Relax on your first draft
If time is on your side and you’re starting a first draft then relax. Allow yourself to use imperfect words. You know the feeling when a word is on the tip of your tongue but you just can’t find it? Use the words that do come to mind and worry about perfecting it in your next draft. You may even find that the simplest phrasing is what works best to avoid your writer’s block
Free-writing is also a useful technique for a first draft. Freewriting involves writing without stopping for 5 or 10 minutes. Whilst free-writing you don’t need to worry about editing mistakes but it allows for ideas to flow onto the page and a lot of people find the technique very helpful!
2. Write something else
Write something completely different to what you are trying to write. For example, if you’re writing a comedy then try writing a drama. By changing pace you can open up your mind and find unexpected new ideas.
3. Do something mindless
Washing dishes, taking a shower, mowing the lawn, vacuuming, running. Doing something to get out of your mind will separate you from your work and again, free up some space in your mind to approach your work in a different way when you return to it.
This can also work if you do something new and uncomfortable, like volunteering, or a new sport. If you’re suffering from writer’s block you may be too close to your work so do something else!
4. Develop a routine
It’s no secret that practicing something every day will make it easier. Do this with your writing. Develop a daily routine and stick to it, then break out of it sometimes to allow for creativity. For example, if you normally work on our writing in the morning, try writing late at night. Or if you normally work at your kitchen table, try working outside.
5. For those with a tight deadline…
The tips so far have been aimed towards those with time on their hands. If that isn’t you then a clear mind and plan will help you. Go back to the beginning and re-outline your story. Connect the dots of your main plot points, how A leads to B, B leads to C and so on. Having a clear basic plan with free up space in your mind and make writing easier.
6. Switch your tool
If you’ve been working on your computer, then switch to paper and vice versa. Switching your writing tool can create a more visual writing process and spark creativity. Another effective visual technique is to brainstorm or draw your ideas.
7. Listen to music
New music, old music, your favourite music, music you hate. Music is a fantastic tool for gaining inspiration. Use the lyrics, or the rhythm or the tone and get inspired.
8. Read the news
Inspiration is all around us, but the news is particularly good material at the moment. Use it to your advantage and take some inspiration from world events.
9. Write from a different point of view
If you are writing and there are characters, imagine their different perspectives and write from them.
10. Reason with your inner critic
At the beginning of this article we discussed the main causes of writer’s block. Your inner critic is one of them. Reason with it and don’t allow your own unfounded criticism to get in the way of your work.
Those are our top tips for combatting writer’s block, let us know if they were helpful! And if you need any help with your next story then get in contact.
Nostairway is a video production company in London, we can help you with all aspects of the video production process.
If you found this article helpful or interesting, check out our other blogs analysing the stages of video production and London videography, such as: