It’s 2pm. You’ve been staring at your laptop screen for two hours now. That proposal/presentation/essay/speech/article you said you’d have done by 4pm is nothing more than a blank word document. The cursor blinks consistently, a glaringly obvious reminder of the seconds, minutes, hours that have rolled by without it having moved, or produced a word. Writer’s block, it’s an inevitable burden. While it’s easy to slam your laptop lid closed in a huff and unceremoniously throw in the towel, it’s important to remember that it happens to everybody and — even when it doesn’t seem like it — there are solutions to the problem.
Eliminate all distractions
Put your phone in another room and — unless you need it for research — try and turn off the internet. Try and keep a clean desk so you’re not nitpicking at the unruly objects you have lying around. If you’re working in a noisy office with no place to sit alone, use big headphones to block out the noise around you.
Listen to music
Having music on helps to spur on creativity and drown out noisy distractions. If you happen to be one of those people who find themselves getting distracted by music, try listening to instrumental playlists — such as relaxing classical or smooth jazz.
Pick your topic and let your fingers roam free across the keyboard, write anything that comes to your mind. It doesn’t need to be eloquent — heck, spout a load of nonsense if you must, you’ll find your words eventually. Try not to focus on misspellings or grammatical errors, any edits you need to make can be made later on — getting the words on the page is your first priority.
Go for a walk
Just a short walk around the block can be enough to inspire some creativity, just make sure you head back to your desk though — this isn’t an invitation to completely abandon ship.
Take a break to do something else that’s creative
Do some sketching, tinkle the ivories or make a collage. Try and spend an hour or two doing something completely unrelated to the task at hand — just make sure it’s creative. (Watching and episode or two of Dirty John doesn’t count.) Taking a little break like this will exercise the imaginative part of your brain and unleash your creativity, hopefully making it easier for you to then get back into the flow of writing.