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How to overcome writer’s block on a deadline

All creative professionals have faced the dreaded writer’s block one time or another. You want to write, and you have to write because you’re on a deadline, but as soon as you start putting pen to paper nothing flows.

Of course, the field in which you are operating rarely matters – it could be a writing, painting, drawing or anything else. When the writer’s block happens, all creativity takes a backseat and you’re left doubting your own self and also wondering whether you would be able to finish the assignment on time.

There are some proven tips which can help you get over this inertia and overcome writer’s block on a deadline. [Tweet “Remember rolling friction is always less than static friction”] In other words you just have to focus on getting started and then step-by-step everything starts feeling easier.

Change the format of what you are doing

For example, if you are writing a long form article then switch to mind maps or bullets points or storyboards – anything which might not be the final product but is at least a step in the right direction. There are various free and paid apps which can help you to do this. Even doodling your way into writing can be effective. The creative block is often caused by the formats we (over)use that cause our brain to stagnate and fixate at a point. By changing this, the process can often jumpstart.

Change the surroundings

When I have a creative block going on, it seems everything around me is part of that block. In such cases, one of the quickest and the most helpful solution is to change the surroundings – perhaps going to a neighbourhood coffee shop and sitting there for a while would help you. Or changing the room, the desk orientation etc –  anything which makes your mind free that something different is going on.

Don’t create but consume

A writer’s block is formed due to combination of various issues. One of them is lack of inspiration. And I’m not talking about the inspiration which we get by following our idols, this missing inspiration is the kind that is adrenaline pumping in nature. It is different for different people, for me it could be watching a good workout video on YouTube or reading one of Zenpencils.com’s beautiful creations. It could also be reading/ watching something which is similar to the work that you are trying to output. For example, if it is an article that you are writing then you could go and read something which falls in a similar sector. Many times the reading done at this time simply flows into the writing.

Take a break

This is the obvious solution but often this is a double-edged sword because you don’t really [Tweet “know when you are taking a break to return back rejuvenated and when you’re simply procrastinating in order to delay the work”]So be very sure and have the right schedule to take a break and then come back. Also, when taking a break be aware of things which make you feel happy and which make you feel tired. Many people get their energy from meeting people and others feel their energy drained out when in a crowd. Know who you are and take a break accordingly.

Talk to your peers or mentors

Since the writers block is such a common issue everybody has faced it one time or another. When you are in such a situation, your peers in creative fields would likely be able to assist you in getting over. Simply calling/ emailing or even dropping a tweet to someone whom you know to be able to give good advice can help you get over.

Last but not the least, brute force and perseverance are your greatest allies.

Writer’s block or not, if all else fails, simply brute force your way through the inertia. Even if what you’re writing or creating is not your best effort, it is still better than doing nothing. Slowly as you move forward you will feel that you’re back in the groove.

Finally the most essential part is that this is not the time to doubt yourself. You already have enough of a problem by not being able to create and if you start making assumptions about your own capabilities then the battle would be even more difficult. Leave these questions of the correct assessment of your skills and how to improve them for later, for now simply focus on getting started.

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