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How To Use Physical Activity to Banish Writer’s Block

Man stretching after walk

by Jennifer on February 21, 2012

This is a guest post by Bridget Sandorford of CulinarySchools.org

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 you need to calm your mind or to focus on a single idea, those methods typically backfire because they just send you into a frenzy of writing without purpose. Instead, using physical movement can help to 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 Your Body

Sitting in front of a computer for hours on end can makes your backs hurt and muscles get tense.

When you have a muscle twitch in your leg or slight pain in the small of your back, you won’t be focused on your writing because you’ll be thinking about the pain. When you hit this point, your writing suffers because you are only focusing on it 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 so you can return to your writing feeling refreshed.

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, Florida.


Image courtesy of Tobyotter

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 richard March 13, 2012 at 3:59 am

Thank god doctors and nurses don’t get medical block.
Write, read, edit.

2 Lauren Olivier April 27, 2012 at 6:30 am

Thanks for this.. I think exercise is an excellent way to blow away the cobwebs – mental and physical. I still wish for a magic pill cure for procrastination though!

3 Ben Lloyd May 29, 2012 at 5:17 am

Exercise is the perfect way to kick start the writing purpose. Given the choice between writing and exercise, it’s going to be writing for me every single time!

4 Kitchen worktops Man May 30, 2012 at 4:51 am

Another thing is that stretching and meditating and trying to be aware of every single muscle in your body from your toes to the top of your head kinda mirrors the writing process itself- being attuned to what’s going on in your own mind, around you, relaxing and letting the creativity flow ad you let your muscles unwind.

5 Jennifer May 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

hahaha, well that’s one way to force yourself to sit down and write!

6 Jennifer May 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I totally agree. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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