Beat the Block: Change Your Surroundings

surroundingsWriter’s block has left countless writers with the inability to put words to paper. Whether it’s a total lack of ideas or too many ideas, writer’s block leads to convoluted thinking and stops the writer from creating a story. It’s almost inevitable and whether you’ve written one or one hundred books, writer’s block is one of the biggest obstacles a writer might face. It can occur at any stage of the writing process and for some writers, it’s incredibly difficult to beat.

Last week, I discussed how listening to music can help you focus on your writing and immerse you into your story. This week, I’m going to discuss how changing your surroundings can give you a fresh perspective on your novel and help you get over writer’s block.

For many writers, there is one specific place where all writing projects are done. Whether it’s at a desk in a formal office or snuggled under the blankets in bed, writers tend to have a couple of designated places where they do their writing. However, when writer’s block strikes, staying in the same place can feel monotonous and can make it harder to get over writer’s block. Changing your surroundings and going to a new place can help refresh your mind and give you a fresh perspective.

When changing your surroundings, consider going outside to write if it’s a nice day. The fresh air will be a welcome change to the circulated air indoors. Spending time outside has also been proven to improve your mood. If your mood is boosted, you will have the ability to work more productively and ideas are more likely to flow.

If the weather is not particularly nice, go to your local public library to do some writing. Since we spend so much time in our own homes, changing rooms may not be enough because every room in our home is so familiar. It’s easy to get distracted by pictures on the wall or your household to-do list. It is also easy to get the feeling of cabin fever if you spend too much time in your house attempting to write. By going to a new place, you are no longer distracted by your surroundings and you are able to focus on your writing. Libraries are generally quiet places and being surrounded by books will put you in the writing mindset.

To add an element of positive reinforcement, select your favorite coffee shop or café. Then, set yourself a word count goal and if you are able to meet that word count, treat yourself to a coffee or beverage at that location. Whenever you go to your new destination, make sure to bring your laptop or journal with you and write at the coffee shop or café. You will be in a completely new environment and the people and things around you may spark some inspiration. Once you arrive at the coffee shop or cafe, set yourself a new writing goal while you’re there. If you are able to reach your coffee shop word count, reward yourself with a little treat before you leave. If there’s no wifi, no problem. The lack of the Internet will prevent you from getting distracted while you write.

It doesn’t matter where you end up, but changing your surroundings can greatly affect your writing. By changing you surroundings, you won’t be looking at the same four walls and you will give your eyes and mind a much needed break. Being in a new place and surrounding yourself with new things will help spark new ideas, refresh your mind, and will help you get over writer’s block.

Thank you for following my Beat the Block series this month. If you have ever defeated writer’s block by changing your surroundings, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Beat the Block Series:
Beat the Block: Use Writing Prompts
Beat the Block: Get Physical
Beat the Block: Start a New Scene
Beat the Block: Listen to Music

Until next week,

Debbie

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2 thoughts on “Beat the Block: Change Your Surroundings

  1. iggy23

    I can see how changing the environment might help to overcome writer’s block. I think another reason, in addition to yours on how monotonous it can be, is that we may have become too comfortable wherever we are and we’re just sitting there waiting for ideas to come. I don’t believe creativity works that way. I think I’ve mentioned on one of your previous “Beat the Block” posts before that I don’t do anything to counter my writer’s block and I just carry on with my life until an idea floats by. I think, in a sense, that’s a change of environment because I’m out and about doing my daily stuff somewhere other than at home so maybe that’s where I get my ideas from. Great stuff again, and is the series going to end? Or is there more to it?

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  2. debbiedavisbooks Post author

    I’m glad that you found this post to be helpful! I definitely agree that going out and living life is a change of environment. Experiencing life is a great way to relieve stress and new experiences can inspire new ideas. Originally, I had only planned for the series to go through April. However, I’ve heard some pretty good feedback and I’ve enjoyed writing the posts so I may continue with it sometime soon. I have really enjoyed your feedback throughout the month as well!

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