312013Jan

Using Physical Activity to Banish Writer’s Block

This is a guest post from Bridget Sandorford

Banishing writer’s block isn’t just about using writing prompts and timers to get yourself back into the swing of writing. The type of writer’s block that those methods help to solve is more about having the motivation or the ideas necessary to make it work as a writer.

When what a blocked writer really needs is to calm her mind or to focus her mind on a single idea, those methods typically backfire because they just send the writer into a frenzy of writing without purpose. Instead, you can use physical movement to help you alleviate this type of writer’s block.

Take Short Walks

When you need to calm your mind, a quick 10-minute walk often does the trick. Sometimes creative people can become anxious when preparing to do their work.

Instead of writing, you may find yourself staring at your screen, fretting about the work that you have to do. Walking will give you the chance to put all of those thoughts in some type of order, determining what work is most important and how you will proceed when you return to your computer.

Do Jumping Jacks

Doing some type of intense cardio for a short burst can help to focus you when there are too many ideas floating around. Jumping jacks aren’t the only choice. Jogging in place for 30 seconds or even sprinting across the room, as silly as you may feel, can help.

The idea is to force your focus to move from the many writing-related ideas in your head to your body. Once you’re done, the writing ideas should settle, leaving only one or two occupying center stage in your mind.

Stretch

Sitting in front of a computer for hours on end makes our backs hurt and muscles get tense. When you’re in pain, your focus moves from writing to thinking about the muscle twitch in their leg or the slight pain in the small of the back.

When you hit this point, your writing suffers because you are focusing on it only for a few seconds at a time. The best answer is to stretch.

Take 10 minutes and really stretch out all of your muscles. Stand up and touch your toes or do slow lunges. Lift your arms over your head and then stretch them to each side.

Get rid of those niggling physical aches and pains can help you return to your writing without losing focus.

How do you use physical movement to banish your writer’s block?

About the Author: Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for CulinarySchools.org. Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate “superfoods”, she recently finished research on culinary schools in Illinois and culinary schools in Orlando, Fla.

Image courtesy of Tony Alter

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