10 Tools And Techniques to Defeat Writers Block For Good
Some people say that writer’s block is a myth. They claim that it’s all a matter of self-discipline and simply forcing yourself to write. Whoever those people are must never have to deal with distractions, busy schedules, and fickle editors. They must also be blessed with brains that can conceive of and retain an infinite number of writing ideas.
This article is not for them. It is for the rest of us mere humans. Whether your writer’s block is the result of a busy schedule, too many distractions, an inability to find the right idea, or something else, there is good news. There is help! Here are ten tools and techniques to stave off writer’s block permanently.
The Tried And True Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro Method is based on two research backed concepts. Our attention span is at its highest for between 20 and 45 minutes. That attention span and focus increase after a short break. The pomodoro method involves using a timer to work for short periods and then taking a break for five minutes.
You can apply the technique yourself using a timer or stopwatch. There’s also a Tomato Timer app. If you get stymied by large or otherwise overwhelming writing projects, give this a try.
Try a Distraction Free Writer
Word processors have a lot of features. They point out spelling and grammar errors, you can embed videos, access comments from editors and collaborators, and so much more. This great, but it also creates a pretty distracting writing area.
You wouldn’t be alone if you were tempted to revert to a pen and stationary. Of course, that’s not very practical. Instead, consider a distraction free writer. Tools like Omm Writer Dana and Calmly writer provide simple writing interfaces without the distracting ‘extras’.
Weigh in on The Latest Topics With a Headline Aggregator
If topic selection isn’t the biggest cause of writer’s block, it must come close. Writers have the often overwhelming task of finding topics that are current and relevant to their audience. It’s a challenge to do this every day, sometimes multiple times each day.
If you need newsworthy topics, consider using a headline aggregator. These are tools that take the latest news in a variety of niches and curate them to you. Many have customization options that allow you to select the topics or media outlets you prefer. Try AP Mobile, Nuzzel, and AllTop.
Change Your Location
There’s nothing to download here. Just a proven technique. If you’ve been writing in the same spot, staring at the same scenery for too long, that’s bound to stifle your creativity. It’ll also sap your energy. Try changing things up.
Create a secondary place to write at your home or office. Even better, get up and get out of the house. WiFi is everywhere! Take advantage of it, or use your phone as a mobile hotspot. Do like the digital nomads do, even if it’s just at a local coffee shop for a few hours.
Automate The Editing And Proofreading Process
You know you can’t skip editing and proofreading. Still, the process can be a real chore, and it can distract you from the task of writing. What you can do is find ways to automate and outsource it.
For simpler projects, consider tools like Grammarly and Hemingway App. For larger, complex projects, you probably need a bit of human intervention. In that case, consider a professional editing and proofreading service. Rated by students curates helpful lists and reviews of companies that provide these services and more.
Try Mindmapping And Brainstorming
How many times a day do you flash on a writing idea, then dismiss it because you have no idea what to do with it? How often do you struggle to find the right story angle for a topic you know your readers would love? Half-baked ideas aren’t worth much unless you can flesh them out, and make something out of them.
Try mind mapping and brainstorming. Both exercises help you to conceive of, organize, and explore your ideas in organized ways that bring results you can use. Coggle and Mindmeister both work well for individual use, and are effective for small teams as well.
Get Instruction And Inspiration From Other Writers
Accountability, advice, inspiration, and camaraderie are all things that can restore your energy and get you primed to write. You can get all of these things and more from other writers, you just have to reach out.
Check your local library. Many have a local writer’s group. Consider joining NanoWriMo and attending their local events. At the very least, seek out some online resources for writers. Seek out blogs, author pages, and Facebook groups that are relevant to your niche. Consider All Top Reviews as an information repository for sites that contain blogs, advice, and inspiration for writers.
Clutter and disorganization create distractions that stop you from writing. For some, it can even create a convenient ‘excuse’ to avoid writing altogether. Keep a clean, organized workspace and computer to avoid this.
If you’re like many writers, your notes are your biggest source of disorganization. One of the best solutions comes from an app that’s extraordinarily popular among college students. Evernote will help you to organize and store notes, even create and manage entire writing projects.
Streamline Your Workload
You might be spending too much time on busy work and administrative tasks to focus on your writing. If you’re dealing with invoices, contracts, office management tasks, errands, and other jobs that doesn’t leave much room for writing.
Consider the following tools and resources:
- Task Rabbit — For outsourcing small errands
- Legal Zoom — To handle contracts and other documents
- Quickbooks — For managing your finances
Here’s something else to consider. You may be writing too much? Yes, it’s a bit odd to consider, but it’s true. If you’ve got too many projects on your desk, or you’re bogged down on mundane projects, you may not have enough time or brain space to work on things that are more important. Check out Top Writers Review as a source for reviews, testimonials, and other information about services that will outsource writing tasks for you.
Be Ready For Inspiration
Inspiration can come at inconvenient times and in inconvenient places. You might see an article that catches your interest when you’re too busy to read it. A great video might come across your newsfeed while you’re on the train without your headphones. Going back and finding these things later can be a real chore, if not impossible.
Take a look at Pocket or DropBox. Both apps allow you to swipe and store articles, videos, music, and documents to consume later.
Writers Block is No Match For These Tools And Techniques
There is absolutely no reason that you should suffer with writer’s block. No matter what the cause, there are loads of tools and techniques that can help you overcome this challenge. Give a few of them a try. It won’t take long to find the combination that works for you.