Posted in Personal

When you can’t write the next sentence, try one of these

These five activities are my choices whenever the acclaimed writer’s block dawns on me. These are effective for me, I hope these work for you too. Add your own through the comments!

Make a list of recent wins and highlights.

The benefits of list-making are proliferated on productivity sites – and for good measure. Lists promote logical and exhaustive thinking and free-up brain RAM. What better list to make than a list of accomplishments! Celebrating wins provides a fresh perspective: You are not defined by the now! You had better times than this, you can do better again! Remembering your finished outline, sentence, and paragraph will boost your confidence to continue on the article sitting in your desk. Banging you head on the wall won’t.

Squish the doubt bug.

“I should not have started.” “This was a bad idea!” These paralysis phrases are like roaches that spoil the family dinner because they just happen to come out then. Squish them! Raise your foot up and take a whack at them. You have the skills, experiences, and talent to finish the task. The team believes in you – you must too.

Do something else – except social media.

RESET – it frees us from the shackles of this fast-paced life. The clock continues to tick as the pointer keeps on blinking. You’ll squeeze your brain for words like a sponge if you can.

Stand, look far, and breathe. Step out the door while stretching your arms to the sky. See the beauty of the flowers or talk to your neighbor’s dog. When you do something else, you tell yourself: there is more to life than the task at hand. Just resist a social media rush. It will suck you in and clutter your mind more! Better yet, when you feel FOMO nudge, get on the floor and plank. A twenty-minute nap can also help: set an alarm so you can go back to your masterpiece on time.

Set a goal for a time.

Call your friend the Pomodoro timer and write until the beep cuts you mid-sentence. Completing a session means you win! Do not aim to finish: aim for a goal. Two hundred words in two Pomodoros and the chapter will write itself. Then, add this win to your highlights list and let reinforced feedback work for you.

Persist through it – then quit effectively.

The brain is your best weapon. It is more powerful than you can imagine. It’s your hammer, your lasso, your sword. “Just do it,” and it will be done. Then, do the Hemingway – quit in the middle. Tomorrow is another day. Present You did the best possible. Reward yourself with a family dinner or a friendly hang-out. Watch an episode of that superhero series you like. Read a book. Just make sure to sleep well: Tomorrow You is counting on you for productivity.

What do you do when the next sentence can’t write itself?



I am an Environmental Scientist, Geographer, and Researcher. I am especially interested in urban phenomena and planning.

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