Hi everyone! Today we… uh… Have you ever- no, no, no, that’s not right… *sighs* hi-everyone-today-we’re-talking-about-writer’s-block. (quietly/in the distance) Nailed it!
[image courtesy of https://www.pinterest.com/pin/16114511144064197/%5D
So, you have an idea for a book. Awesome. You have hours of free time, had your coffee (or tea, juice, or milk) fix, and you’re ready to start. About four pages into your writing, you hit a brick wall. Ouch. If you can’t think of what to write, you may be suffering from a condition known as writer’s block.
This is an ailment that affects professional authors and recreational writers (like myself) alike.
So what do you do? Your Muse must be somewhere taking a vacation, because you’ve got nothing. Here are some ways I’ve learned to combat this villainous visitor.
7. Go for a walk. (One of my personal favorites. I usually take Kathleen with me)
Getting your blood flowing is a good way to alleviate some of the symptoms of writers block. It gives you time to mull over ideas in your head that you may not otherwise think about if you’re sitting at your computer. If you want to, bring a friend! Bounce your ideas off them. They may even have some good ideas of their own.
6. Listen to music (perhaps listen to music while you walk?)
This technique doesn’t work for everyone. To me, music is distracting unless its Mozart or Bach. However, I do like reading the lyrics from songs of artists I like. Sometimes reading them tells a better story than it did when you listened to it.
5. Use writing prompts
I repeat: use them. I find that looking at writing prompts sends a whole story spinning through my head. Pick one you like, and start. See also: Free-writing.
4. Go somewhere
Don’t sit all day holed up in your house, hoping inspiration strikes. Hit a coffee shop (Pease’s anyone?) and write there. Sometimes, all it takes is a small shift in the environment to get your creative juices flowing. Maybe take a friend with you or listen to some nice music (see how these things overlap?)
3. Read a book
Seems kind of counterproductive, huh? Actually, I find that reading books helps me a lot when it comes to writing. My personal fault is not to use the same sentences the author uses. (I did that a lot in the first draft of one of my stories. Suzanne Collins, why must you write such amazing dialogue?)
Another wonderful creative outlet. But what if I can’t draw? My answer is: doodle. It doesn’t need to be the next Mona Lisa, just draw. If you can’t think of what to draw, drawing prompts is a good idea.
Here’s the big one. You must write to overcome writer’s block. I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t defeat it by complaining about it, procrastinating*, bingeing on Netflix, or putting the breaks on it entirely. Write anything. Write about what you dreamt about the night before. What you had for lunch. Even writing about your writer’s block is a good way to move past it.
*occasionally, you may have to “procrastinate.” Sometimes taking a break and coming back to your work later is a good way to get over writer’s block.
That’s it! The 7 ways that I deal with writer’s block! Are any of these tips helpful to you? Do you have a way that you overcome writer’s block that I didn’t list? Tell us in the comment section and keep on the lookout for new posts!
~Elizabeth and Kathleen