Getting Past Writer’s Block

We’ve all been there: you’re sitting at your computer, task in hand, ready to chip away. Suddenly the blank Word doc is staring at you, and your mind is blank. It’s writer’s block. It’s happening.

Here are five tactics for breaking the block:

1. Give yourself permission to ebb and flow in the creative process. Creativity requires failure, and from our failings, refinement is born.

2. Try talking to a non-lawyer. Tell them about the matter you are working on (within the scope of solicitor-client privilege, of course), the issues, and your positions and interests. Speaking to a non-lawyer will force you to simplify the facts and boil the issues down to layperson terms. Talking about the matter out loud in this manner can free your mind and restore your cognitive flow.

3. Go for a walk and just let things play out in your mind. Record voice notes or jot things down as they come to you so that your brain doesn’t have to do mental gymnastics trying to remember what you came up with and thinking new thoughts.

4. Don’t refuse to write, and don’t wait to feel inspired. Write something – anything – on or off-topic. It will at least get the mind working.

5. Brainstorm ideas or break concepts down in bullet points. After all, you can’t start a fire without a spark.