We've all been there, assignment due in a few hours and a blank page taunting you with every passing second. Writer's block, that ugly, wrist-clenching monster, who has strangled at least a few hours from every one of us, is poised to strike again. The good news is that I have some tried-and-true treats to feed this beast.
Word Association Game
One of the things that a writer's block monster hates more than anything is rigid thinking. If you've been locked into writing page after page of technical schematic descriptions, stepping away for a moment to put your mind in a totally different gear can help. Try a bit of word association. Just typing out words that are similar to each other will get your creative juices flowing, and perhaps, it will lead to some interesting turns of phrase that you've never tried before. The least it will do is get you refreshed and ready to tackle some additional technical pieces.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Do you have some random snippets just cluttering up your desktop? Repurpose these snack-sized pieces into a palatable meal. Grab one and use it as a starting point for your next project. You don't even have to keep it in the final draft. It's really just another way to change your internal gears, and keep your brain from stalling out.
Learn Something New
Sometimes the very best way to end writer's block is to stop freelance writing for a few hours, and to spend that time learning something new. This could mean reading a non-fiction book, watching a documentary or surfing the web. Whatever you do, make sure that you learn something. It's amazing how easily the things you learn about can be incorporated into and inform your next writing assignment.
Use a Pencil for a Bit
It may seem weird, but the simple act of typing can be the source of writer's block. By changing to writing with a piece of paper and a pencil, it forces you to process language in an entirely different way. Writing with a pencil is a fundamentally different mechanical action than typing, and this may be enough to shake that monster off your wrists.
Turn On the Mood Music
There are several writers I know personally that enjoy having some music playing in the background while they write. It can help set a mood and stimulate the creative side of the brain. I suggest using instrumentals as it's hard to plagiarize music, but not so hard to accidentally borrow from a lyric. If a certain type of music, say classical, isn't working, try changing to something of a different genre. Pandora radio is a great source for inspirational writing music.
Hopefully, this helps you break out of your freelance writing rut. If it doesn't, stay tuned for part two of my series of breaking through writer's block!
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