Blank pages are scary.
Like, evil clown riding a giant spider scary.
So when you know that you have to get a new blog post written, and you’re staring down that blank page and that blinking cursor feeling 100% stuck, you’re not necessarily setting yourself up for success.
In fact, sitting at the computer can be the absolute WORST way to try to write a blog post.
When you’re suffering from a serious case of writer’s block, stepping away from your workstation can be just what you need to get out of your rut.
Yes, it sounds a little counterintuitive to put off your work – but sometimes, your brain needs to reset itself a little!
(And as anyone in IT will tell you, the first thing you should try when your equipment’s acting up is to reboot it.)
So, what are some ways you can step back from your work and give that big ol’ brain of yours a chance to reconfigure itself?
When was the last time you designed a logo on paper, instead of in Photoshop? Or wrote a blog post in a notebook? It might seem like it will take longer (and it might), and your list of things to accomplish is oh-so-long (we know), but when you just can’t find your creativity, go analog for a bit!
Working at a different pace and in a different medium gives your brain a break from its usual routine – and gives your eyes a break from staring at a bright screen all the time.
When’s the last time you ate something that didn’t come in a box? (When’s the last time you ate something at all?)
Sacrilege like what we’re about to say may get us excommunicated from the First Church of #Hustle, but you deserve to take a lunch break that lasts longer than it takes to guzzle down a meal replacement shake.
Leave your laptop and your phone behind, and go to another room to eat something. Drink a glass of water (seriously – it matters). It’s not just a matter of fueling your body – it’s a matter of taking the time to concentrate on something other than the blank page!
Can’t tune out what you know you’re supposed to be working on? Tuning in to something else might help!
We’re not suggesting you fire up Netflix for a full Gilmore Girls binge session, but popping on an episode of your favorite podcast or finding your zen with a new chapter in your latest audiobook can do wonders for resetting your thought process. Turn your brain inward and focus on consuming instead of creating, and when you revisit your own work, you’ll have a little fresh perspective!
Working next to a window is one thing, but actually going outside gives you the opportunity to stretch your legs, breathe in some fresh air, and soak up some Vitamin D – and that all adds up to a clearer head.
Walk the dog. Stroll around the block. Grab an iced tea from the cafe down the street. Just get out and do something you enjoy, and see how it invigorates your creative spirit!
This is one we talk about more in our free Secret Blogging Formula download, but the short version is this: when writing has you stuck, focus on active thinking without writing.
Forcing yourself to talk about your ideas out loud – even to nobody at all – fires up different thought processes than trying to commit them to print!
Sit down with your most trustworthy teddy bear, and tell her all about the thing you’re trying to write. She might not have much advice to offer, but hearing your own thoughts out loud can lead to some useful revelations!
Low on energy?
Just, you know, blah?
A quick snooze may be just what the doctor ordered.
You don’t have to doze the day away, either – 10-20 minutes is all it takes for a boost to your alertness! (Go much longer, though, and you risk waking up groggy.)
Instead of staring at your computer screen trying to force the words to come out, accept that a few minutes on the couch can prime you for productivity.
We’ve mentioned the power of masterminds before, and we’re doing it again. This is exactly the type of situation for which you’ve created that mastermind group – so rely on your squad!
Your mastermind friends will know you and your work well enough after a short period of time to give you honest feedback when you need it the most – and sometimes that’s just what our creative blocks need to hear to get out of our way!
This one is for you introverts who love your home office with its quiet and its nearby snacks and its perfect little setup. Yes, it’s cozy and it’s yours, but when you can’t wrap your head around a project, it’s time to snag your work and head to a new location – the kitchen table, your back porch, or even a coffee shop. Finding a new point of view (literally) can be just what you need to get back to work!
When we fight against our creative blocks, they fight back hard. Unfortunately, they’re often stronger than we are, and they win! If you find yourself fighting and none of these other tips are working, try going deeper into the work, and embrace your blocks.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert suggests talking to your blocks (which she says are often just fear in disguise). She says that if you give them some personification and talk to them, and tell them you’re grateful they exist but that they aren’t needed in this process right now, they might just go away a bit easier.
So give it a try! Turn on some lovingkindness for yourself and your blocks when all else fails.
Got a go-to trick for snapping out of a slump?
A fave motivational playlist?
A crystal above your desk that keeps your spiritual center just right for creative thinking?
Share your own methods in the comments!