As a writer, have you ever been faced with what’s called writer’s block from time to time? That is when you sit down to write, and nothing comes to mind to write. You sit in front of your computer and nothing–zilch. You know you have an excellent plot, one that readers would love to read, and the creative juices just don’t flow. You just sit there and look at a blank piece of paper or your computer screen and stare at it. Next thing you know, you’re writing, get milk, bread, chicken, etc. Anything but words for your book comes to your mind. How frustrating? Let’s explore some ways to get past it?
Let’s explore some ways
to get past writer’s block.
Let me share five (5) tips that I have used, that some of my author friends have shared with me.
1. STEP AWAY–RELAX
Step away from the computer or put down the pen and paper and walk away. Go to your bathroom, light some candles to create a relaxing environment. Take a hot, soaking bubble bath. Take a nap. Take the time to focus on you. Just do you! Pick up a book you’ve wanted to read; take in a deep breath, get your favorite beverage, a snake and relax; then start reading. Sometimes reading a good book; something for enjoyment can be just what you need to start your creative juices flowing. In short, relax. It’s not the end of the world.
2. THE PEOPLE WATCH WRITER’S BLOCK GAME
Go out and observe the people who are around you. What you see or hear may trigger something that you might want to write about or get your story started. Don’t forget to pay attention to the decor, how people walk, stand, sit, and the sounds around, etc.
For example, you’re sitting with your dining partner(s) at a restaurant, and you turn your head to your right, and you see a tall, handsome man get up from a romantic table for two. He walks around the table and looks at his dining partner. A beautiful woman looks at him and has a surprised look on her face. He goes down on one knee, looking into his date’s eyes as he holds her hand and opens a black velvet box showing a four-carat ring. You see her. Tears beginning to run down her cheeks as she shakes her head up and down. He puts the ring on her finger, and stands up; they kiss right there for all of the diners around them to see, to a rounding applause. Okay, so maybe this scene is highly not likely to happen often. But you get the point.
Observe your surroundings and write about it. About how fast people seem to move, about how slow others do, and what they are wearing. Use this as a writing exercise. Start to wonder why they are there in the first place, who may be waiting for them at home, or why they’re all alone. It will help get your writing juices flowing. You may be able to do some of this while watching a good movie, TV show, or YouTube on mute.
Do You Have Writer’s Block
or Is It Really Fear That’s Holding You Back?
3. WRITER’S BLOCK OR FEAR
Join a writer’s group or get a mentor. This is especially important if your writers block is ultimately a front because your scared of writing for fear of being judged and feeling like a failure. Sometimes, it helps when you can pair up with other people who are interested in what you are interested in. Make sure you find a writers group that you can truly connect with. A good group will provide suggestions that will help you move forward in getting your story completed. They may even offer some suggested exercises that you can do that might help you get past the writer’s book.
I find it helpful for someone to read what I’ve written so far. Writers spend so much time working alone that it sometimes helps to talk it out. And as the writer, you are too close to your story; what you have written may be very clear to you, but your writer’s group or mentor may be able to point out things that you have written that are confusing or unclear to a reader. They may also provide you with areas that you might have missed an opportunity to grab your readers’ interest and lock them in, so they are more vested in your story.
Now keep in mind you have to have thick skin as everyone is not going to tell you that you’ve written the next Pulitzer Prize novel. But if you listen and pay attention to what they are telling you, it will help you grow as an author and help you to hone your skills to become an even better writer than you thought you could be.
4. THE WRITER’S BLOCK ONE PAGE A DAY COMMITMENT
Commit yourself to write one page a day. But remember, your commitment is only one page. If you have other things that get in your way, don’t carry over that one page a day and think that you now have to write two pages. It’s okay to miss or not make the commitment, as long as it isn’t an everyday thing. If you want to be an author, you have to be committed to your dream, your goal.
We are all human, and other things may come up that need to be handled, and your writing may not happen every day. Plans change, and life doesn’t always go perfect. But the next time you sit down to write, your responsibility is one page and still only one page. If you write more, excellent, beautiful. But don’t feel bad if when you are reviewing your story, some or even all of your pages won’t work in your initial concept. Just hold onto them, save them. They may work in the next story or part of a series you are considering writing.
5. THE WRITER’S BLOCK BRAINSTORM PROJECT
Stop and think about the various parts of your plot that you want to happen in your book. If you like to outline your plot before you start to seriously write your story, take note cards or post-its and brainstorm more about your plot. Stick them on a vision board for now. Later you will organize them in a sequential order to help you with your story. Do the same thing as you are writing your chapters for your book.
Consider your ending. If you know how you want your book to end, take down some of the points you plan to make to make it happen. Reread them, and start to write the ending. Now keep in mind, you may not follow all of the plots you’ve posted up, but playing around with your scenario may help get the creative juices to flow. It might just be what you need to work on other sections of your book also. Sometimes you can’t just go from chapter to chapter in order. You might have to write specific parts and later put them in order. You might even have to dissect it, pulling out some of the pieces that work and saving the ones that don’t work.
I remember one Friday being at work, and I had a conversation with a co-worker that suddenly triggered what I needed to write in my next scene. I couldn’t stop thinking about my hero and the challenges he had when he was married to his now ex-wife and how those challenges affected him. The next morning I got up early, before anyone else in my house. I sat at my computer and started typing this chapter about the disrespect, betrayal, and unfaithfulness of his wife. After 15 to 20 pages, I finished that chapter with tears running down my face, and I realized that I had gotten entirely into my hero’s head in writing that part. And it all started from a conversation with a friend. So, I guess sometimes we just have to get out of our own way and step away from the keyboard to experience life so that we can write it.
SUMMING UP YOUR WRITER’S BLOCK
In conclusion, some of these tips may or may not work for you, but if you’re stuck and are having trouble getting past your writer’s block, what do you have to lose. Write about the cup of coffee in front of you, staring you down if you have to; describe it. If nothing else, in trying these tips, you took some time out just for you to relax. Not every writing session has to lead to the masterpiece of a lifetime. You may have read a good book, seen a good movie, or watched a TV show that leaves you inspired. Or made some friends that are interested in what you are, writing, or you got yourself a mentor who will invest their time in your success. And you took some time to explore your characters more to see how you can make them more exciting and appealing. You might even get over your writer’s block and finish that book that will be the page-turner that readers love to read and talk about someday..
Take a deep breath. Relax! If these tips don’t interest you, you can search out others. You just need to find what will work for you. Now go and have some fun writing your story. I can’t wait to see your name in print and read your new book, so if you’re looking for support, stay connected to us. We love to read and can’t wait to read what “ya” got. Good Luck!
If you have some suggestions you’d like to add for writer’s block, please feel free to comment and share them below. We need all the help we can get. Have a good one. And whatever you do, keep writing!
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