Whether you’re a blogger, a student, a journalist, or have dreams of publishing a children’s book, you have probably experienced writer’s block at some point. Writer’s block is just what it sounds like: the inability to think of what to write and to produce new work. For me, it happens most often when I have a deadline to meet but would rather be doing something else. I find myself staring out the window, unable to start the first sentence. Or I will be seized by the need to check my email (again), or start a load of laundry. If you struggle with writer’s block, here are a few tips you should try.

Go outside

Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need. If you’re on a tight deadline, take your laptop outside on the deck, to the beach, or to your favorite cafe.  However, if you can leave it all behind for a few hours, I highly recommend it. Go for a walk to clear your mind. Put all thoughts of writing behind you and just enjoy the scenery, the birds singing, the seagulls at the beach, or whatever it is you see on your walk.

Be creative

Just because you cannot get started writing doesn’t mean that you cannot be creative in another area. Take time to draw, paint, sing, doodle, decorate your planner, build a block tower with your child, or arrange flowers in a vase. Don’t start a project with a set goal in mind. Just open your mind to a different type of creativity. You may find that unblocks your writer’s block.

Get active

Get up from the computer or the desk and work up a sweat. That may mean working in the garden, going for a run, riding your exercise bike, or de-cluttering the attic. Just get up and move and get your blood pumping. You may find that when you’re done you have a new perspective and the words start flowing.

Brainstorm ideas

Sometimes writer’s block is simply not knowing which direction to take. If you allow yourself to free form write and jot down ideas, phrases, words, or random doodles, you may find the inspiration you need to get started. Don’t view this as a formal outline. Instead, allow yourself to write down whatever pops into your head. You can write in bullet form or doodle words all over a pad of paper and connect them with rainbows, clouds or arrows. The format is up to you.

Whatever you do, don’t give up on writing. Take a break for a few hours or a few days and do something else. You may find that a little break is all you need!