Blink. Blink. Blink. The cursor sits there glaringly, waiting to bring life to your next cunning sentence, prolific statement or witty remark. But nothing. What once came to you in floods, an open spigot of thoughts strewn across the screen, has been suddenly turned off. The keyboard sits in silence and your mind goes blank. The dreaded writer’s block has struck. Luckily, we’ve got the cure:

1. Get inspired by the uninspired. Watch movies or read books about fellow “victims” of writer’s block. Witnessing and learning about how an equal handles this artistic challenge, will help spark ideas on how to get over your own mental stalemate. Being able to relate to a writer who is also undergoing the same internal artistic struggle should inspire creativity, at least until the ending credits start to role…

2. Flex those muscles. Get a job doing some sort of writing. By logging billable hours, you will learn how to write even during your worst days. After a while, muscle memory from your professional writing experience will lend the ability to write independently of your mood or creative state. This will give you the advantage of being able to write even when your motivation is lacking. If you don’t feel the need to change professions, add 15 minutes of free writing (or stream of consciousness writing) to your daily schedule. Write what comes to mind. The process will train your brain to tap into the words in your head and get them to take a physical form on paper.

3. Get in or get out. Trust your craft, not inspiration. Create a detailed outline and follow the plan. By breaking down your book idea into smaller, more digestible pieces the project will appear less daunting overall. Be professional about how you approach your project. Set milestones and a hard deadline. Find a comfortable spot to write and don’t leave that position until you’ve committed to a paragraph, page or chapter. Repeat. Repeat again. Stick to it and you will be amazed at the results of your own persistence.

4. Light a fire. What are you passionate about? Write about what you love: your burning desires, your interests, your favorite memories. By focusing on things that make you happy you will write more freely. Be inspired by those you admire. Learn from example. Let the creativity of your passions give you confidence in your own writing abilities.

5. Move around. Stuck in a rut? Get up and change your surroundings. Take a walk outside, stretch, get a snack, allow your mind to clear. Alter your train of thought and take some deep breaths. Try your hand at meditating. Opening your subconsciousness and allowing the thoughts to come naturally, rather than trying to force them, will make the entire writing process easier.

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