Whether you’re working on your autobiography or a post-interview note to a would-be employer, nothing is more frustrating than a bad case of writer’s block. Here’s one way to unblock: sit down and start free writing for an arbitrary period of time, like 10 minutes. Write absolutely anything and don’t stop. The idea is to get your creative juices moving so that your brain’s synapses kick in.

Another way to overcome writer’s block is to talk about what you’re trying to accomplish. Enlist a friend to listen to you brainstorm, and if no one is around (or you don’t want to be swayed by someone else’s opinion) talk to an inanimate object. Talk to a stuffed animal or pillow about what you’re really trying to say. This will help form your thoughts into words that you can eventually put on paper.

Another method is to shake up your routine. Take a quick walk or hop in the shower so you have a new perspective on the day. You can also change locations. Get out of the house for a little or go write in another room. This will get the creative juices flowing. There are many other things you can try to get rid of a writer’s block, but the key points are: just write, talk it out, and switch it up. A writer’s block ends when you start putting words on a page, so think about these tips next time you need to write something important.

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