Writers Block "DOUBLE WINDOW" trick and other quick fixes

Last Update: June 24, 2015

Every writer deals with "Writers Block" in one form or another. Here are some tricks to get you past the typical blocks listed below which, if you haven't suffered from, you probably will!

I JUST CAN’T FOCUS. What exactly is my major malfunction?

CHECK YOUR STATE.Give yourself guilt free permission to do a quick once over on yourself.

PHYSICAL - Are you hungry? Blood sugar on the floor? Thirsty? Do you need your diapers changed? Do you need to move around / take a walk / work out a little? Do some breathing exercises? Stretch! Do that set of lunges across the house UNTIL you’re ready to write! (So you either get unblocked, or you get mad sexy thighs!) Turn up the A/C or open a window! Move to your office where you feel more plugged in? Take something for your aching back? Did you forget your caffeine for the day? Are you writing in a place that is relatively free of distractions?

MENTAL - “SNAP OUT OF IT!” Are you preoccupied with something? If you need to stop mental notes or worries from flying around in your head, force yourself to write down exactly what you are thinking – especially the “I have to remember to…” things – and put them aside so your brain can turn lose of the concern. Perhaps make a little checklist for yourself once you discover what most often helps you focus. If you write best with the TV and radio off, then turn them off.(I can’t imagine doing BETTER with the TV on, but for some people background music actually is helpful.)I personally love to use essential oils to snap me into gear. (As I’m writing this it’s dinner time and I’m dragging so I put some peppermint oil on my hand and snorted it! YEP! Cheap, legal and POW! - clearer thinking already. Typing faster also!)

Yes, get your body and brain relatively comfortable. NO don't let yourself jump up and tend to another whiny need every few minutes. Just do a once over on yourself, take care of business, get your physical state in order, and then settle in.

NO IDEAS. What in the heck should I write about? This is an easy one.

  • As a member of WealthyAffiliate.com, going into the ACTIVITY section and reading a few websites that other people have asked for help on can stimulate ALL KINDS of ideas. Even if they are not up your alley, it is likely that something about the formatting, writing style, or even the comments will put your mind onto a new track.
  • If you have a particular subject you NEED to write about, just Google a small sentence about it and read everything that comes up until you find a subject that sparks your interest sincerely - sincerely is the operative word. Don’t try to write about something your gut says you have no interest in. At least find yourself an angle that appeals to you, if nothing else.
  • Go to Amazon.com in the book section and look for books on your general subject and the specific niche they are drilling down on, and read a bit on the ones that seem interesting. Take a new approach to what you see someone else talking about. I know if I read 3 peoples presentation on the same subject I almost always see a way that I could reorganize it for myself. Sometimes that may be all you need to do to deliver an interesting article for your reader.
  • And if all else fails, take yourself out of the pressure position and just pick a product or service in your subject matter and write a review of it. It is way easier to be complimenting or criticizing than being on the pressurized producing end of the "content" product.

DOUBTING YOUR IDEAS. Who in the world would want to read this drivel from me? Who the heck am I? Often we are thinking this before we even type the first word, and the doubt causes us to go find something else to do waiting for our confidence to miraculously restore itself!? What?! That ain’t gonna happen!

  • WRITE CRAP. Just give yourself permission to anything down; fragments, partial sentences, rambling stories, and permission to let no one see it. Writing is the important thing. Once you have a draft version of your masterpiece just walk away from it, give yourself a chance to feel relieved about having written it AT ALL, and come back later when your judgment is back to normal. Then it may look OK and just need tiny changes, or not, but at least you will have a skeleton to work from instead of a blank sheet, and the pressure will be off.
  • HELP SOMEONE ELSE. A super confidence builder that will shoot right past your twisted self-doubting subconscious voice is a sincere compliment from someone else. If you use the WealthyAffiliate.com community contacts to welcome new writers, critique posts people have asked for help on, or answer questions in the chat, you will almost always feel great about your abilities. Wealthy Affiliates are very generous with their compliments, and there is nothing like a, “Wow, thanks a lot, that really helped me!” to light a fire under you.
  • ADMIRE YOURSELF. Go back and re-read a previous “masterpiece” and see what a great job you did. See, you can do it! And everybody loved that one, right?

STUCK? Where the heck was I going with this? What now? I just wrote myself into a corner!

TRY ALEXX's "DOUBLE-WINDOW DOUBLE-WHAMMY" trick. (OK, so I wrote VERY dry legalese and business stuff for a long time and here’s what I do in case of a REAL emergency when I absolutely HAVE TO get it done.) Open something else UNRELATED that you need to write on in another window, while keeping your “stuck" mess open in the first window – side by side so you can type easily into either. The new window can contain literal trivia; nothing rough: Emails to answer, or another post to edit - anything to get you typing and the motor skills moving, occupying your conscious brain WHILE your eyes can still see and your subconscious can still work on that stuck mess. (This only works with two windows open.) Now start working on the trivia... Pretty soon your subconscious will be screaming at you to get back and write things it has started to think of. I swear this works! Don’t laugh until you’ve tried it!

MISC TRICKS

CHANGE YOUR M.O. Do something out of the ordinary – something “wild and crazy” for you. After all, you became a writer because you don’t want to follow the rules, right?

EAT YOUR DESSERT FIRST. Write the fun part first, then fill in the blank parts. Jump to that part of your article that you WANT to write.

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Go meet another writer somewhere and write together; even a coffee shop with all the noise and traffic can be a stimulation, rather than a distraction, especially if you are used to working at home alone. It may also make you so acutely aware of how great you have it writing at home that you don’t get blocked there for a while!

WRITE OUTDOORS. Go sit on your patio, or under a tree. Get some sunshine and fresh air.

SWITCH PROBLEMS WITH ANOTHER WRITER. Switch articles with a "stuck" friend. You add to their masterpiece, they add to yours. In just a few minutes you will have helped each other and likely be running back to your masterpiece. There's nothing like stepping in someone else's shoes to see how great yours fit!

JOURNAL ABOUT YOUR WRITERS BLOCK. There’s also nothing like getting a good healthy whining session out of your system to move you off the tiresome subject of poor you and your frustrating mental block and back to your masterpiece.

Go on now… I hear your masterpiece calling!

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SarahAnt Premium
Love the Double-Window Double-Whammy idea! I remember I went to a place called Jam Jar once. I have no particular artistic talent but we went for a fun day of painting - ten mins in and I was still standing there staring at my blank canvas! One of the people who works there came up to me and said, "try painting your canvas white". It sounded a bit strange but just the act of getting going with it helped me to start! Sometime, as you say writing crap can help!

On the start with dessert part, I have also heard that "eating your frog" (don't know if you have read the book - but 'eat your frog' refers to getting the hardest part of what you have to do out of the way) might also be a strategy for some. I'm definitely the dessert girl but.... I have heard the frog thing works well for some!! :)
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SupportWorx Premium
HAHA Eating the frog would work too! Actually, that's more like what I did in business writing... the really ugly detail work first and the fun stuff after! Great point.
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tcb2015 Premium
That's it. Now I KNOW we are related somewhere in this crazy world. You nailed just about all of my "Block Busters" except the Peppermint Oil - dang, I've been drinking mine in tea - gotta try it your way.

In addition, I have picked my guitar till my fingers were raw, worked crossword puzzles, treated myself out and Karaoked my way through a mental block and watched funny cat videos on YouTube until I finally yelled... EUREKA and had my A-AH moment of inspiration.

You certainly do know how to kick my gray matter (and I don't mean my hair) into gear! I was just overindulging in a "What the heck do I write now, right now" moment when I read your post.

I think I will opt for hanging out in the WA community for awhile and see if I can find someone who need help through their block... obviously, it won't be you, Alexx—you are on a roll!

Superb blog! Can't wait to see your website.
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SupportWorx Premium
Aww! You are so sweet! Thank you so much! L!

I put peppermint in water also, to give the A/C a little break and A/C my body! AND KARAOKE! OMG LET'S GO KARAOKE! haha
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tcb2015 Premium
The Peppermint oil is ideal here because it is helpful in keeping mosquitoes and other beasties away! They HATE the smell.

Ya know - you would think bug repellents manufacturers would make something with Peppermint as the active ingredient instead of harmful chemicals like DEET. Just one of those things that make me go HMMMM, like... how can there be "self-help" GROUPS?

Karaoke ROCKS! LET'S GO!
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SupportWorx Premium
Yeah baby!
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What a terrific and well thought out blog. I love your sense of ease in your writing style as well as your sense of humor and pathos we writers struggle with.
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SupportWorx Premium
Thanks S... I'm looking forward to seeing your first blog! -Alexx
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stephhill Premium
This is a nice blog on writer's block. I think every writer struggles with this from time to time. Often times for me it is not to know what to write about. Another technique is to set up Google Alerts on your niche idea.

This may give us some insight on what to write about too in addition to all of your other awesome ideas.
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SupportWorx Premium
Great idea. Thx for the feedback!!
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Leese Premium
Thank you so much for this post! Writers block is something I've struggled with A LOT. Whether it's writing articles for clients, my own blog posts, essays when I was in university or anything when I used to write fiction. I wish I'd had this to read ages ago!

The double window thing is very interesting... Usually I just minimise whatever I'm stuck with and end up browsing around online. This doesn't help AT ALL. Will try the double window next time!
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SupportWorx Premium
Yes, its that thing about you still seeing it out of the corner of your eyes and your subconscious free to work on it with no pressure. Its freaky but it works. Please tell me how it goes for you!!

Thanks so much for finding it. I'm new here and not sure if I'm even putting things in the right place. How did you find it, Leese?
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Leese Premium
I found it on the Activity Dashboard under "unanswered" while I was just casually browsing. I saw "writers block" and had to click! Haha
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SupportWorx Premium
THANKS!!
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