Every writer gets it. The dreaded writer’s block. You finally get some time to yourself. Time to stretch your mind and make some progress on your latest project. And then, nothing. Your mind fights with itself, running in circles and refusing to allow progress. There are a lot of ways to fight writer’s block. Here are the things that seem to work the best for me in no particular order.
- Just start writing. This one comes down to a battle of will power within your own brain. Usually fought while staring at a blinking cursor on an empty page, or watching your pen bleed into your paper as you struggle to form the first letter. Either way, this battle is entirely inward. Sometimes taking that first step towards getting words down on the page is enough to get the mind churning.
- Read. Reading can really help with writer’s block because you are basically reviewing someone else’s polished work. Most published work reads smoothly, has good transitions and is a great place to get into a writing rhythm. Picking authors whose style matches your own, or pushes you to take your style to the next level, are the best authors to get you out of your writing funk.
- Move your body. Exercise has really been helpful to me in getting the ideas flowing again. It might be all the blood rushing places it hasn’t rushed in a while, or it could be the simple act of getting your brain focused on something other than the words you are attempting to form. In either case, getting a good, vigorous exercise in has proven to pull me out of many a writing slump.
- Try out some writing prompts. Writing prompts are story starters. They can be taken in an unlimited number of directions, so even if you come up with a great short story while working off one, you can still use it or shop it around. Sometimes your writing brain is stuck, but all it really needs is that next a-ha moment to send it on a multi-chapter writing frenzy. When this is the case, writing prompts can be just the tool for the job. Try searching #writingprompts on twitter or check your go to writing group to see if anyone has posted one.
- Have a conversation. As writers, we can have the tendency to get stuck in our own head. Having a conversation with another brain, even if it happens to be online, can be the spark needed to clear the cobwebs. This is especially true if the conversation is with someone who thinks differently than you, or comes from a very different background. Diversity really is the spice of life, and seeking some out can spur your mind on to new angles on old ideas and fresh character perspectives.
I hope these help! feel free to add your own in the comments. Happy writing!