Photo Via Unsplash
We’ve all been there. You sit down at your computer, excited for a few hours of work. As your fingers gently rest on the keyboard, your mind goes completely blank. It’s as if your brain spontaneously deleted any good idea you’ve ever had.
You sit there for a minute, trying to think of something to write about. Your dog. That jerk at work. The global pandemic. Not being able to write. Nothing of substance comes to mind. You’re at a loss for words and not sure how to get your thoughts out of your head and onto the screen.
I’ve been there, you’ve been there, and every other person that calls themself a writer has been there. Writer’s block will come knocking every once and a while and ruin the streak you had going.
Anticipate it. Expect it. And prepare for it. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not. With that said, we are not helpless when it comes to smashing through writer’s block. There is one fundamental mindset hack I’ve used to develop my idea muscle further when my brain is sabotaging me.
To think of good ideas, stop trying to think of good ideas
Some of my best writing ideas have come when I’m not even at my computer. When I’m running, or eating dinner, or talking with my parents. My best ideas come when I’m out living my life — not thinking about topics to write about.
It seems counterintuitive, but to smash through writer’s block, you have to give your brain a chance to rest. You have to stop trying to think of good ideas to write about.
To start thinking of good ideas, do something that takes your focus off of trying to think of content to write about.
- Go for a run
- Wash the dishes
- Make a snack
- Play with your dog
Go do something that takes your brain away from ideation and puts the focus on something different. When you stop trying to think of ideas to write about, they end up flowing to you effortlessly.
Although it’s counterintuitive, it works like a charm. The toughest part is that stepping away seems to be the opposite of what you’re trying to do. When you’re at your computer, you’re ready to write.
Stepping away for any period of time can be difficult. But at the end of the day, if you can’t think of anything to write about, you aren’t actually ready to write. You’re just sitting there, wasting your time.
If you can’t think of anything to write about, stop trying to think of stuff to write about. Instead, take some time for yourself away from the computer and the stress of trying to write. Go do something different. Turn off your brain momentarily and focus on something else.
Inevitably, ideas will flow to you like a broken dam. It just takes the courage to step away for a brief second to open up the floodgates.