If you’re a writer, you’ve probably experienced the dreaded writer’s block. You sit in front of the computer to get your writing done, but you have no words. Or, if you’re like me, you might not believe in writer’s block at all but suffer from writer’s apathy—you’ve lost interest in writing for various reasons. Well, I have found a few ways to get past writer’s block and apathy.
Exercise (Your Mind and Your Body) for Your Writing
Making time to write is hard enough without adding tasks to your to do list. However, an active mind and healthy body will make you a better writer by default.
In On Writing, the great horror writer Stephen King shares great tidbits about his writing process and what he believes makes good writers. According to King, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” I couldn’t agree more.
I cringe when I hear those who claim to be writers say they don’t read. That’s like a neurosurgeon saying she doesn’t look at brains and is squeamish at the sight of blood. Would you allow that “surgeon” to operate on you or your loved one? I wouldn’t. So why would I read a book written by a non-reader?
If you’re not immersed in the craft of writing, including reading the works of others, how do you expect to improve?
Now that you are committed to reading more, let’s consider how your physical health affects brain function. You do want to remember what you read and what you want to write, right?
A research review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that physical exercise improves cognitive function. In other words, if you exercise, your brain works better.
Reading books makes me want to explore and exercising gives me the energy to get up and get out of the house. I find that as I live outside of my head, the stories inside my head become more robust.
While the ability to write is primarily internal, we find inspiration around us. If you have writer’s block or writer’s apathy, try going for a walk in a crowded park (2 birds, one stone) or volunteering at your favorite community organization. People watching will help you write better descriptions of facial expressions and body movements. Listening to conversations will help you gain a better grasp of how people speak for writing dialogue.
More than anything changing environments is not only good for writing, but it will put you in the position to build relationships.
Full disclosure. I was going to write “network, ” but thoughts of sleazy city networking events popped into my head before I could use it. In the late 90s and early 2000s, networking events were huge in the Metro Atlanta area. From what I understand, they still are today. Unfortunately, most people walk away from these events with a pocket full of business cards belonging to people who are not decision makers or real influencers.
The most beneficial networking I’ve done have been through building relationships with people who share my interests. Attending conferences instead of night club networking events is a sure way to meet people who not only share similar interests but who are willing to invest in their success.
I hope this helps you improve your writing. If you have writing tips, please comment below or submit a guest article via my contact page.
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