The isolation, the disruption in normal routine, and the general stress about the world are enough to put writers at a creative standstill. It happens to the best of us, and sometimes, it can get a little overwhelming when you have so much work to do but can’t put ideas on paper—if you have any ideas at all.
Getting rid of writer’s block can be difficult, more so in the middle of a pandemic where self-isolation is the key to helping stop the spread of the virus—even if writing is mostly a solitary activity. It’s hard to gain inspiration when you’re stuck at home with not much else to do, let alone with other people. Nevertheless, there is still a way—or rather, several ways you can beat writer’s block without putting yourself at unnecessary risk.
Here are some that might finally help you get your creative juices flowing again:
Engage with other creatives
Even without a pandemic, one of the best ways to beat writer’s block is by collaborating with others or just simply reading their work. Take Words For a Friend, for example, a community led by Rob Brazell that encourages collaboration across artistic disciplines. Aside from being a place where people share their art and make authentic connections with each other, it is also a great source of inspiration for many creatives like you.
Take advantage of virtual events
Some writers try to beat their writer’s block by going to museums, attending musicals, or participating in spoken word poetry bars. Unfortunately, the pandemic has put a halt to public events like these, or at least greatly minimized them. If this is a technique that has worked for you before, try attending virtual events or taking virtual tours that mimic the real experience. Although they may not be the real thing, these virtual shows or tours can let you immerse yourself in the world of art to a certain degree. And who knows? The experiences that they offer may be enough to have you start typing with purpose again.
Now, this may be counterintuitive to staying safe, but you don’t have to put yourself at risk to spend some time outdoors. Hang out in your backyard for an hour or two, simply basking in the sun and breathing in the fresh air. Alternatively, you can go to a nearby park with no crowds or find an isolated spot in the woods or the beach to spend some quality time with nature.
If you feel up to it, you can even bring your notebook to write down any ideas that come to you. Or perhaps draw what you see, just to get the creative juices flowing in your brain. If you are into photography, taking pictures of nature can also be a relaxing and motivating activity as well.
Dedicate a space to writing
One of the best advantages of having a career as a writer is that you can work from anywhere, be it the café, the library, or in a little restaurant by the beach. But in the pandemic, your choices may be limited to the different rooms in your house.
Working in bed or on the couch may seem like an awesome idea at first, but it may not be the most ideal set-up for continuous workflow. This is especially true if you have to share the space with other people who are—as considerate as they may be—great sources of distractions. So, if you don’t have one yet, dedicate a space for writing that is quiet, comfortable, and overall conducive to productivity.
If you do have a home office or a dedicated workspace, it may be time to reevaluate it if it’s not helping you beat writer’s block. For instance, you may have to reposition your desk to nearer the source of natural light. Or if you’re constantly getting distracted by back pain, it may be time to get new office furniture.
Take a break
Sometimes, the only way we can beat writer’s block is to let it beat us first. So, walk away from your desk, find something else to do, and come back when you are ready. It may not be the most productive course of action, but it will help you do more when you finally return to your work.
Don’t let writer’s block put your job at a standstill. If you’re having trouble beating the pandemic writer’s block, start with these tips and you’ll find your creative flow back in full swing much sooner.