You’ve been sitting there, staring at your screen for the last half-hour. And all you can think about is coffee…and when you’re supposed to get your oil changed again, and what you’ll eat for dinner…except that you’re supposed to be writing your next sermon.
Welcome to the ugly world of Writer’s Block. But have no fear! Here are three quick fixes that should get your fingers typing faster than you can say, “Espresso!”
- Get up. Walk away. No, I’m not telling you to call it quits for the day. I am saying that even 10–15 minutes of a mental break and light walking can help bring you back to the topic at hand.
- Play games with your mind. There are a bajillion creative writing prompts out there, but you just need one. For just a few minutes, stop what you’re working on and write about something totally different: Where did you buy your shoes? What was the best gift you received as a kid? If you had a pet kangaroo, what would you name him? The trick is to write about something else—something totally irrelevant—for a few minutes to get your brain out of a rut. After you’ve chosen a name for your new pet, go back to the writing at hand and see if your thoughts come easier.
- Hug a tree. Take 15–30 minutes for a nature break! Assuming it isn’t raining, take a walk, sit in the sun, or—if you feel daring—take off your shoes and walk around in the grass. God’s creation is all around us every day and we often fail to appreciate the nature in our daily lives. Staring into a tree canopy and looking at individual leaves is a wonderful way to visualize God’s provision for each and every one of us. Sitting in the warmth of the sun for a few minutes, you can’t help but smile, breathe a little deeper, and lower your heart rate.
The next time you have a mental block, don’t get caught up in the distraction of social media. Instead, put one (or more) of these creative tips into action.
Check out this great resource from prolific writer Jerry Jenkins for more about overcoming writer’s block.