Four Ways to Beat Writer's Block
Writer's block have you pulling your hair out? Stuck on a plot flaw in your story you just can't work out?
Here are four things I've found that help me:
- Outline: I am by no means a plotter. I write by the seat of my pants. I am a slave to my inspiration. BUT, when I get stuck I've found that going back in and writing out a timeline or breaking out those index cards really help me to visualize what it is the story/character/plot is missing.
- Walk away: As a child you're told "don’t walk away from your problems." Solve them. Unfortunately, in the creative world it doesn’t work like that. Often times when it’s forced you get a whole bunch of paragraphs you end up deleting anyway. I’ve found putting it down and doing something else helps me forget about it. I usually go for a walk or wander around a mall and people watch, or I even like to read a book. Anything and everything to forget about my book for a little while. It helps. When I come back to the desk usually I have renewed inspiration or a brand new idea hits me while I’m out attempting to forget about it for a while. There’s nothing like writing with a new idea; your fingers can’t seem to type fast enough because they are so excited. I live for that feeling.
- Have someone else read it: I know it’s scary. But make sure it’s someone you trust. After they sign the 10 page confidentiality agreement, have them read it over and tell you what they think should happen. What worked? What didn’t? It has helped me more times than I can count. Sometimes fresh eyes are all you need to spark that ignition.
- Sleep on it: When your computer is giving you issues, you restart it. Same thing with your brain. It’s still working when you sleep solving those problems, thinking, dreaming. I can’t tell you how many times a dream has inspired a new story line. (I’ve even created a whole series about these crazy dreams!)
Remember, it’s okay to leave it for a while! I have books I’ve started and stopped. I have books I’m still mentally working out. For one book it’s been two years now. I’ll finish it one day, but not until it’s absolutely right. I don’t want to publish something that could have been better. Instead, I work on something else. There are always new projects to work on. So, don’t get caught up and stressed out connecting the dots. Writing is supposed to be fun and therapeutic.