As writers we’ve all been there. We can be sitting before our computers or papers and stare at the blankness. The blank paper seems to reflect our minds in that state of writer’s block. We seem to forget how easily ideas and writing come to us. Our once fluid keystrokes and sentences turn into stumbling messes. I’ve been there many times.
Here’s some advice I have gathered from my experiences.
- Read a book
- Read helpful blogs/vlogs about writer’s block (check)
- Identify a reason for you block, if there is one (like lack of motivation) and fix the problem
- Use writing prompts
- Look over your writing
- Note the progress you have made until that point
- Compile a list of bad writing habits you need to work on
- Take a break and do the things you’ve been putting off
- Or do nothing at all (but not for too long)
- Take the time to do some research
- Try meditation to get out of your head
- Take a walk in nature to stimulate your senses
- Have a cup of tea or coffee with a notebook at hand and no electronics
- Try doodling to get the creative juices flowing
- Turn writer’s block and procrastination into rehearsal
I want to delve further into the rehearsal concept.
This tip I got from Roy Peter Clark’s Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer. In this book Clark suggests that we shouldn’t view procrastination or writer’s block as destructive, but instead turn it into something constructive. He suggests we call it rehearsal instead. We should take this time to write our story in our head. I, for one, do this quite often. It helps us prepare for when we’ve got the mojo to write it on paper.
Here is some more advice he gives:
- Trust your hands: basically just write some stuff down and don’t think about it. Turn off your brain for a while and let your fingers do the work.
- Adopt a daily routine: pretty self explanatory.
- Build in rewards: when you feel like a break or you can’t write for some reason, take that break. Reward yourself with a cup of coffee or tea, go for a nice walk, or even listen to some of your favourite music.
- Draft sooner: research is good, but sometimes we over-research and that can make writing harder. So he suggests that you write first, so you know exactly what you have to research, and then do the research afterwards to fill in the blanks.
- Rewrite: the first draft always sucks, so take sometime to rewrite scenes and pages that you want to improve. This will help you during the revision process too.
- Watch your language: turn your negative thoughts and feelings into positive ones. Turn procrastination and writer’s block into rehearsal, preparation, and planning.
- Set the table: when things get backed up and your desk gets taken over by other tasks, take the day away from your daily writing routine and get these tasks done. This will make it easier for you to get writing done tomorrow.
- Find a rabbi: talk to that person in your life that is always supportive and positive.
- Keep a day book: have a notebook with you at all time so when you have an idea, you can write it down.
There are endless lists of how to get past your writer’s block, but I want to give you the most important piece advice of all.
16. Find what works for you!
I hope this helped you and thank you for reading,