Writer’s block is bad. Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me. It jibber-jabbers about jibber jabber. It’s loud, relentless and simply obnoxious. Now, this might seem like a bad idea at first, but it’s not always the case. If you’re a writer, it’s better to have a restless mind, rather than a quiet one. Why? Because you can train the jumpy mind. But you can do close to nothing for the shy mind.
When disaster strikes though, it’s pointless to name the type of mind you have. Regardless if it’s always on the move or quiet as a pencil, your mind will sometimes simply go blank. It’s called a writer’s block, as I’m given to understand. And it’s supposed to be bad. Really bad. Like, it can end your writing career in a heartbeat. It can paralyze you. And sure, there’s nothing worse than a writer who gets blocked in front of his laptop, unable to produce words.
I read about this phenomenon quite a lot in the last months. Some would say I read a little too much on the matter. And it’s true. Because no matter how many books you read, or articles, or Youtube videos you play, the real cure for writer’s block will always be different from one writer to the next. We have unique brains, so it’s normal to be this way. Me? What did I do?
Crosswords, My Cure For Writer’s Block
Yes, I cured my writer’s block with crosswords. That’s as much of an explanation you’ll get from a writer who’s paid on an hourly rate as me. But I’m going to explain it to you because there’s a whole process involved here. We can’t play with technique but must apply it as the master says we do.
My mornings start out at about 7 AM with a quick run to the bathroom and then 30 to 45 minutes on the treadmill. This is new for me too, so don’t panic about it. Then it’s shower and breakfast. After that, I have 30 minutes to commute to the office. If that’s the case, can’t do any crosswords.
But I do work from home especially when I know there’s a rough day ahead. I simply know that, looking at my schedule. When that happens, I use those 30 minutes I’d spend in the car doing crosswords. I simply sit down with a pen and a crosswords magazine and try to guess as many words as I can.
Solving The Block
Sometimes, I’d just stare at the blank page, reading one puzzle after the other. My mind starts to wander off, as it constantly does, to things like trips, my dog, the fact that it’s cold outside or you name it. It fails to cooperate. But for the most part, I can do two to three pages of crosswords in those 30 minutes before work.
It matters less if you’re a crosswords expert or not. That’s not the point of the routine. The point of doing crosswords in the morning as a writer is for your brain to get into the mood. What mood? The mood of finding the right words for the pieces you’re about to write. Getting your brain hot is crucial before a writing session.
The Writer’s Brain
The brain of a writer is like a muscle, although the actual tissue in the brain is no muscle at all. What is that ooey gooey grey stuff anyways? Regardless, think of your brain as a leg muscle. Any leg muscle that you want. If you’re going for a run this afternoon and that muscle is not warmed up, you will most likely not perform well. Or, in the worst of scenarios, you’ll trip and fall on your face. You can end up in the hospital by dinner time.
The same happens with a poorly warmed brain. The brain is your muscle when it comes to writing the best you can. It’s only natural to feed it before starting the real work. Some writers read or write on their books before starting on their paid tasks. Others listen to podcasts. But I found crosswords to be engaging my brain the best out of all.
So the next time you’re looking for a new way to cure your writer’s block, try starting your day with a page of crosswords. It can’t do you any harm. And it did me so much good. So do it. Try it tomorrow. And sure, come back and tell me how’s it working for you.
And remember, always use words that inspire to greatness!