5 ways to beat writers block that doesn't involve eating an entire box of cupcakes

Wondering what cupcakes have to do with writer’s block?

It’s all in how you procrastinate.

In this case the writer’s block belonged to my lovely friend Sarah Bown and her procrasti-poison of choice was cupcakes.

Delicious, sugary sweet, can’t get enough of ’em, cupcakes.
 
 

A Real Conversation About Writer’s Block

In the spirit of keeping it super real and sharing what other awesome bloggers + biz peeps are going through, the following is a conversation Sarah and I had in a Facebook group I used to run.

Sarah (aka Sez) is a super talented writer, has a regular column for Her Canberra (check out one of her awesome posts that went viral here) and, like all amazing writers, was having one of those days (or weeks!) where her motivation was nowhere to be seen.

Yep, it’s true.

Even people who love writing and write for a living struggle to get the words flowing sometimes.

So I thought I’d share our conversation in the hope that it helps you turn off Netflix, put the cupcake down and get your writing groove back.
 
 

Writer’s Block is Real (Sez Wrote…)

Help!

Where for Art Thou Motivation?

I am living in struggle-town the last couple of days with my writing / motivation / attempt to overcome procrastination.

It is real and not a drill.

I’m really wanting to move forward with a book idea I have started but sometimes I want to poke myself in the eye with a chopstick rather than sit down and do it.

I love writing and I know this is something I want and see in my future. I know I can do it, just the RESISTANCE is hard core whipping my butt.

I need to start tomorrow afresh for a new week and actually get some writing down.

Any tips / wisdom?

What do you do when you’re in a funk?

And maybe not “sit with it” because I’ve sat most of the weekend eating cupcakes and watching Pretty Little Liars and I feel sucky!

I need some loving proactive action.

{And please tell me this does not just happen to me? That will make me feel better as I eat a fourth cupcake…}

Sez xx
 
 

Tips to Get Unstuck (My Response…)

Hi lovely,

I tried to phone you with some loving, proactive action but you must have your head in the cupcake tin! Ha ha ha. (And I can say that jokingly because you know I love and adore you).

If you want to call me tonight or tomorrow please do and we can talk it through…

{insert time lapse as Sez and I get on the phone for 7 minutes and nut it out, bust the block and help her get writing + feeling awesome}

Ok, so we just had a quick chat and smashed the resistance but I wanted to touch on a few of points we talked about here {in the Facebook group I used to host} in case anyone reads your post and relates.

First up, this does not just happen to you.

Resistance is a bitch who will hold you down and slap you if you let her.

And second, you should never feel sucky about eating cupcakes.

Cupcakes are awesome.

Now for some practical tips.
 
 

ONE :: Distraction Free

Find somewhere you can write and not be distracted by ALL of the things.

Being away from the house can make keeping your focus on a single task easier as you remove the distractions.

Can you write at a café, library, friend’s house while they’re out so they can’t talk to you, in a hotel lobby, in a park?

I.e. somewhere you can’t watch TV or do the washing or vacuuming?
 
 

TWO :: Break It Down

Can you split your writing time in two so you’re still getting your blog posts and articles out into the world (to continue your instant gratification of writing and publishing a post as well as continuing to build your profile and visibility as a writer) and then spend PART of your time writing your book?

That way you’re working on both things simultaneously and you get the mix of the slow burn and the instant gratification.
 
 

THREE :: Clarity + Fun

If writing your book feels like you want to stab yourself in the eye with a fork, ask yourself the hard question:

Do I really want to write this?

If the answer is yes, how can you make it easier and more enjoyable?
 
 

FOUR :: Free Write

If actually starting to write feels impossible, start by journaling out all of your sticky feelings or cranky feelings by free writing.

Once the junk is out you might find you feel like writing.

Or write a short email to a friend and then start a blank document and start writing whatever comes out.

The journaling will help ditch any of the junky, crappy feelings too so you’re not taking them into a new week.
 
 

FIVE :: Phone a Friend

Talk it out like we just did.

Seriously, a whole weekend of feeling crap versus a 7-minute phone call that lets you have a vent, talk through the stickiness and feel better?

Phone a friend early on.

I think that’s about the key points we covered, if I forgot anything let me know and keep me posted during the week.

P.S. you’re awesome. xx
 
 

Sez’s Reply…

Lady you kick my butt and shake me out of my shit in the absolute best way possible.

Soooo appreciate your support.

Will keep you posted on how I reset my mindset this week!

Hugs and a virtual cupcake to u! Xx
 
 

Extra Tips + Goodness

A couple of amazing community members and all around rad chicks had a few great tips too.
 

Make it Manageable

The lovely Kirsty Taylor from The Nourishing Way said:

I do my best work in the morning so I set my alarm and grab my laptop / iPad / notebook (I write all over the place) and tell myself I just have to do 30 minutes.

Sometimes I do just 30 minutes and others it just keeps flowing so I go with it.

Before I finish though I make a quick note of where I want to go next. It makes the next time you sit down easier to pick it up again.

For example, I’ve just been writing the background to my meal plan so detailing out how important vegs / protein / fats are so if I stopped through the veg section I would write – where to source them, benefits of the variation then onto protein.

And if that fails I have tea – lots of tea!!
 
 

Take a Break

The gorgeous Nicole Mathieson said:

I hear ya honey, so much food can be consumed trying to find the motivation to sit and write.

Hello fridge!!

I find that I need to take a break. Go do something totally radically different for a day.

OR I need to explore my heart – like really deepen. What is this really about. Not trying to think it out but really feel into it.

Good luck
 
 

And You…

As for you, dear reader, what do YOU need to beat the writer’s block and get writing again?

Test drive one of the tips we’ve shared here and let me know how you go.

And if that fails, give me a shout and we can hang on the couch, watch great shows on Netflix and eat cupcakes together.

Sarah x
 


P.S. Want more great tips to get your writing groove back? Tune in to episode 8 of Rock Your Goals the Podcast where published author Vanessa Carnevale shares her tips to help you find your voice, fuel your creativity, make time to write and bust through writer’s block. Plus you can access a free copy of “Rock Your Writing” – a guide to writing with confidence.

Photo of cupcakes via Nordwood Themes on Unsplash