In the past (and I mean the distant, distant past), I’ve caught myself making blanket statement like “There’s not such thing as writer’s block” or “Writer’s block isn’t a writing problem; it’s a motivation problem” or “Writer’s block is a self-imposed frame of mind. Get over it.”
While there might be a grain of truth to some of those quotes, for the most part they aren’t completely accurate and could even be considered unfair to the writers out there who are in the midst of a creative slowdown. And I’d be lying if I tried to say I’ve never experienced it. In fact, I’m experiencing it as we speak. I haven’t finished a short story in a long time, and the WIP novel hasn’t seen a word count increase since the solar eclipse, or at least that’s how it seems.
And since this is something that troubles all writers at some point in their career, I thought it would be a good topic to revisit. So here are three ways to beat writer’s block
I think one of the biggest of causes of writers block is simply the fact that there are times when it’s just hard to get started. And I get it. Life is busy and sometimes after a crazy day at the day job and a crazy night with the kids, you just need some time to chill. It’s never easy to get to work on the “night job” when all you want to do is chill.
This is where I think writing prompts can be helpful. They can force you to start. So give this a try. Just Bing 🙂 on over “Writing prompts” and pick the most attractive site. My personal favorite site for random generators, including writing prompts, is Seventh Sanctum, but it doesn’t matter where you go. Just pick one and start writing.
It doesn’t have to be good; that’s not the point. The point is to spend 5-10 minutes getting yourself writing so that you can loosen up a bit and get ready for the good stuff.
Pending on your point of view and attitude, working on character sketches or profiles could either be fun, or painful. I personally think you should have a simple character profile for every major character in your WIP. It will help both you and your readers distinguish between your characters, and as a result, enriched your novel.
And as a plus, while you work out your characters’ likes, dislikes, and backstories, you’d be surprised how many new ideas will pop into your head.
Another reason we experience writer’s block is that we feel like we’ve run out of ideas. And what is the answer to that problem?
Simple. Stand up and walk away from your computer. Go someplace else–anywhere where there are not computers–and sit down.
Daydreaming is one of the best tools we have for coming up with new story ideas. I honestly believe it’s something all writers should do for at least 15 minutes every day. Just turn off the computer, shut the door, close your eyes and sit. And ask yourself “What if…” The story ideas will come.
So if you are experience writer’s block at the moment, or even suffer from it nearly all of the time, just take a break from the empty page and give these tips a try. You never know what might work.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any other tips for beating writer’s block, feel free to share them in the comments section!