There aren't many feelings more frustrating than writer's block. What can be more discouraging than feeling like you have absolutely nothing to say? The longer it goes on, the worse it gets. For any kind of writer -- even those writing business e-mails -- writer's block is inevitable.
Next time you're staring at a blank page wondering if you'll ever be able to write, here are a few suggestions, culled from over 30 interviews with authors about their advice for aspiring and established writers:
1. Forget about that perfect beginning. Write anything even if it sounds like a not-so-bright second grader wrote it. You can and will come back later and fix it. But, for now, just get started, even if it means writing "Today I am going to write about the stock market. That is where people buy and trade stocks. It is in New York...." Once you get something down, the rest will flow more easily.
2. Doodle what you want to say. You could create a mind-map or simply jot down any ideas, phrases or keywords that you want to include in your piece and illustrate it with whatever comes to mind. Dumping your ideas on paper like this jump-starts your creativity; the very act of writing in long-hand often has a freeing effect on your mind's internal censors.
3. Take a break. Even if you're facing a tight deadline, you can spare at least five minutes (after all, you're not doing any good just sitting there!). Go for a walk, exercise or let your mind wander. This might be all you need to come back to your project refreshed and ready to work.
If you have other tips, tricks or suggestions, be sure to include them in the comments section.