No motivation. No inspiration. No magical words flying from keyboard to paper. Writer’s block, that ominous, horror story creature haunting you from the deep dark caverns of despair.
Don’t let it take you prisoner.
Here are some ways to fight back.
This tip is totally dependent on your writing style. Some authors encourage having a writing space that is consistent. If that’s what works for you, then just stand up and stretch for a few minutes but stay where you are.
For me, I love change. I don’t find it distracting but invigorating. Something as simple as leaving my house and going to an abandon class room, a library, or a coffee shop all excite me and create in me an insatiable desire to write.
Are you writing from home? Go to a tea shop, park or somewhere similar to the scene you’re trying to write. Go somewhere you know will inspire you and get those creative juices pumping again.
Work on a Different Project
I never have just one book I’m working on. There’s always another book on the back burner. That way, if I get stuck on one, I move to the next and work on it. Typically, by the time I come back to my original manuscript, it’s been enough time I can move past the block.
Caveat: if you’re one a tight deadline to finish your manuscript this is luxury you can’t afford. In that case, don’t exit out of your manuscript! I repeat, get er’ done! Take a break if needed but stick with it.
Allow Yourself One Skip Pass
This is a rule I set for myself that has proved quite useful. If after all the above steps still don’t work and I am simply unable to write something I allow myself one skip per book. That way, I can keep the momentum going and come back and write the scene when I’m ready.
A lot of times when I’m having writer’s block it’s because I’m not prepared. Either my outline was unclear, I am struggling to think up a description, or I simply do not have enough information to write the scene realistically.
These are each separate problems that can be tackled individually. If you’re struggling to write action, maybe it’s because you need to research it a little more, check out How to Write Amazing Action for ideas. Does the task of coming up with names overwhelm and stump you? Find a systems that works for you on How to Find Original Town & Landmark Names. To find ways to organize your writing check out Get Organized. Get Writing.
If all else fails, and you simply cannot move past a certain block in your book, go around it. Just be sure to try everything else first.
Refuse to Give In
Do what it takes to keep you in your seat writing! What inspires YOU? Is it listening to music, eating a snack, getting a second cup of coffee, taking a break to do some planks? Only you know what inspires you and will get you back on track.
Candace, about to grab coffee and put on some serious writing music.
Photo credit: Writer’s Block II by Drew Coffman/CC BY
Photo credit: out side a coffee shop by Aaron Pennett/CC BY