“I’m having a writer’s block moment,” are the last words anyone who writes for a living wants to utter. It’s probably even worse if you’re part of a content team and crunch time is looming.
So how do we cope with it? Like a dose of the decongestant Sudafed for your blocked creative sinuses, here is some heartfelt and hilarious advice from the remarkable writers of Novus Asia.
- From eating to walking around in the dark, Vicki Yang, one of our senior writers, employs some comically drastic measures to put pen to paper:
“I split between:
- Not writing until the feeling of impending doom overwhelms me when the minute hand of the clock is about to rendezvous with the dreaded hour of the deadline
- Stuffing myself with chocolate and cake (or a combination of both) and moaning miserably about my life
- Going for a night walk in the park with the excuse that I need some fresh air to clear my mind while I walk around in the dark
- Panicking and writing out at least the structure of the article or with sentences that make only half sense and when I’m done, go back to the top and re-write the lines properly and make them flow into the narrative I have in my mind.
This last method often works best. The process takes longer but it has worked for me since the frenzied days of university.”
- Exercise your creative muscles — you know senior writer Will Chin is an amazing scribe when his exercise analogy makes perfect sense, despite him not having seen a gym since yesteryear.
“It really depends on what I am writing. I mean, if it’s for work I try to write something else altogether. If the article about investment for millennials is not working out, I will switch to a profile story instead. Another way to break the spell is to read fiction. Reading fiction works a different muscle in my brain than writing for work, so it’s like working out at the gym. You do your core exercises this week, then maybe focus on running after that.”
- Howard James, our resident “tell it like you see it” business content director, thinks it’s a no-brainer:
“More than writer’s block, writers [not me] struggle to come up with an angle for the article, but if you’re actually having writer’s block, you don’t know your subject matter — go read up. It’s that simple.”
- The downward dog does the trick for one of our new writers, Shanti Morais — who may be a closet yogi by sound of it:
“I change my scene — in my previous company, I used to sit in the garden terrace, which was always very inspirational. Or if I’m feeling tired, I take a half hour break — go for a walk, do my meditation or some yoga moves, or have a coffee or juice. These short breaks are really useful and get the creative juices flowing again.”
- Alison Marshall, our managing editor, poetically makes her case for grilled cheese:
“There are days that perfect prose flow from the keyboard effortlessly, then others when a paltry paragraph is as difficult to compose as an entire feature.
When writer’s block strikes, the temptation is to surf the web or check social media, but at this point in time you really don’t need any more words cluttering an already addled brain! For me, getting over it means taking my eyes off the screen, making a cup of coffee and spending a few minutes mindlessly staring out of the window.
If I’m working at home, my tried-and-tested solution is a visit to the kitchen — where a hot-from-the-pan cheese quesadilla works wonders.”
- And lastly, because my world begins and ends with Game of Thrones, I leave you with a tweet from content strategist Joseph Jones’ famous relative Luke Barnes, (better known as the baddie, Rast, who killed off Night’s Watch Lord Commander Jeor Mormont):
“The cure for writer’s block FYI is reading.”
So there you are, folks — happy writing!
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