Stumped? 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.
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:
- How To Inspire Yourself To Write At Least 750 Words Per Day
- 10 More Websites That Help Cure Writer’s Block With Writing Prompts
- 10 Creative Tumblr Blogging Ideas For When You Have Writers Block
- Five Creative Writing Projects You Can Do Today
- How This MakeUseOf Writer Procrastinates In 8 Easy Steps
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.
- Zen for Writers: Finding a Calm, Peaceful State For Your PC That Would Inspire Productivity
- Write In Peace With These Distraction-Free Editors
- Quabel – An Online, Distraction-Free Writing App
- 5 Web-Based Tools For Any Browser That Every Writer Should Use
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:
- 4 iPhone/iPad Apps For Brainstorming Writing Ideas, Plots, & Characters
- A Writer’s Guide To Free Apps For Inspiration & Organization
- 6 Must-Listen Podcasts For Novelists, Screenwriters & Storytellers
- 5 Useful Sites For Journal Writing Ideas And Techniques
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.
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!