So, You Think You Can’t Write? Let’s Get You Back On Track

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writer tipsStumped? Lost for words? Are you often in the position of being unable to get yourself to write anything, even though the deadline is fast approaching? Yeah, writer’s block sucks – and it happens to all of us. Most writers, after suffering a few days where it got really bad, make plans to get around the problem as best as possible. Now is your time to do the same.

There are lots of great ideas anyone can try, regardless of your writing needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student writing essays, a casual writer doing NaNoWriMo, or a professional author writing a new novel. In this list of writing tips there are bound to be a couple of ideas which will make a huge difference to the way you approach your writing. So, read on!

1. Get Comfortable

If you’re fussing around trying to avoid back-ache and eye strain, you’re not writing. Set up your desktop or laptop so that you’re actually comfortable, then every future attempt to write will only be thwarted by you not knowing what to write.

writer tips

2. Stop Procrastinating & Write

Sometimes, you just need to open up a blank page and get writing. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, really. Once you’ve written a few pages, you’ll be ready to get stuck into the important stuff. So, get yourself a random writing prompt and see how quickly you can get a few words out:

3. Ensure Your Desktop is Distraction-Free

Get rid of email notifications, turn off anything that beeps or pops up, ensure your digital writing space is clear and uncluttered, and make sure your real-world environment is clean, quiet and peaceful too. Serenity brings creativity with it & many writers swear by ensuring they have a neat and peaceful place to write, both digitally and physically.

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writer tips tricks

4. Dictate When Possible

If you find your typing speed slows you down, or that getting free time with your hands ready for typing isn’t likely, you might be better off using some dictation software. This is great if you’re out and about with a tablet often.

5. Read & Listen To Creative Inspiration

If you get a daily dose of inspiration and advice on creating characters and other writing devices, you’ll be perpetually coming up with great ideas you can use. This is the state you want to be in! It’s better to forget a handful of half-formed ideas than to never have them in the first place. So, subscribe to creative podcasts, read blogs on writing, install brainstorming software, use free web tools, and take time to immerse yourself in decent literature. Every bit helps.

Here’s some recommendations from MakeUseOf staff:

6. Make Notes Of Any Great Ideas

It doesn’t matter what you use: Evernote, OneNote, RememberTheMilk or a spreadsheet. What matters is that whenever you have a great idea for an article, story, character or plot you jot it down somewhere where you can refer to it when you need some inspiration later. Nothing is better than realising that you already came up with the ideas and all you need to do now is write. Dictating your notes is also a great idea if you’re pressed for time.

writer tips

7. Keep Synced Backups

Nothing is more annoying than wanting to work on a particular piece you are writing, only to find that you don’t have a current version with you. Oh wait, yes there is – losing your work altogether. To avoid this issue, and to protect your writing from digital or real-world disasters, keep organised backups of your writing that are synced between your devices. MakeUseOf staff recommend numerous ways to do great backups, but here’s a few dedicated to writing backups:

What are your best tips for getting your writing back on track? How do you overcome procrastination? Where do you get your inspiration? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Shutterstock, Shutterstock, Shutterstock, Shutterstock

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Comments (20)
  • Maxi3w

    One ‘different’ thing I have found that really helps with writer’s block is to write a couple of paragraphs about what you want to write about, or simply to get the creative juices flowing – is to use your ‘other’ or non-dominant hand. It feels awkward, but doing this taps into your less used brain hemisphere which is the more creative side. It works for me though I should do it more often!

  • Thomas Petrucha

    point 3. is one of the best tipps … a lot of Writers/Teleworkers … etc. get rid a lot of creative working time … with checking mails, messengers and other interupting stuff ^^

    … for writing I use an extra laptop, without internet-connection and a linux-distribution I like this time, backups all 15 minutes to my remote homeserver and changes files all 5 minutes to a 2nd hdd …

    … a disabled phone and doorbell will all so be a very good idea … a good cup of tea or coffee and that´s it ;)

    • Angela Alcorn

      I love the 15-minute remote backup. That’s a great idea!

    • Maxi3w

      That sounds like a good idea – to use a separate Laptop exclusively for writing!

      I still have my little NetBook which has been unused for a while and it does have a Linux distro. A few Linux apps for writing, a syncing and export facility, then done… Great idea! Thanks :-)

  • cat abwhey

    thx this is so helpful i am working on a very long report for writing class in high school. THIS WAS SO HELPFULL. i am such a bad procrastinator too.

  • Igor Rizvi?

    Great tips,thanks for sharing!

  • Boni Oloff

    Great collection. I think this is a must read one.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.