This Month’s Writing Tip: Pushing Through Writer’s Block
There comes a time in nearly every project when a writer encounters writer’s block. Writer’s block can feel crippling but the most important thing to know is that it is only a temporary state – unless of course you stop writing.
The other good news is that it is possible to conquer this dreaded condition. In fact there are loads of techniques you can use to push through writer’s block, here are just a few of my tips.
Write Your Way Through It
Easier said than done, I hear you say. The very nature of writer’s block is that you don’t know what to write next, but this doesn’t mean you have to stop writing.
You can write your way through a block without knowing what’s next. This often happens to me when I’m only a few chapters in on a new novel. I know what my big picture story is and what I’m aiming for but I can’t figure out how to get there.
After experiencing this on nearly every manuscript I discovered the best thing I can do is write through it. I write nonsensical partial sentences and random notes, such as, ‘big reveal’, ‘he says something witty’, ‘big fight scene’. I continue like this as long as it takes for some actual concrete ideas to form.
Get Yourself Some Prompts
A lot of the time I’ll find inspiration somewhere else – it might be a picture, a song, a movie, a news article or a Pinterest board – anything that prompts your imagination. If you haven’t even started your book or story yet, this is often a great way to get started.
Another idea is using actual ‘prompts’. Look online for writing prompts. Ask writer friends or even family to name some random items, settings or words that you have to use in a story. The more prompts (within reason) the better because we’re hard-wired to be more creative when we’re given more boundaries to deal with. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Even if you don’t end up using all the prompts, it’s often enough to get you started with an idea and help you push through writer’s block.
Sometimes the best thing you can do when you get writer’s block is to take a break. I find going for a walk or even having a bath is enough to reset my brain. I’ve done some of my best thinking in the shower!
You may find you need even longer to let ideas manifest, which is fine. Pause your current project and try something else, or if you’re stuck on one particular section but have an idea how to tackle a different section, then move onto that. If there is a future chapter you can see clearly or you’re excited about, write that!
So what are you waiting for? Write through that block.
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