Everyone gets Writer’s Block and it sucks. It sucks monkey balls. Staring at the screen, plucking your eyebrows to the point of baldness won’t help. What works to break the block is different for everyone but these are my favorite ways to help me push past Writer’s Block.
1.) Go for a walk
When the dreaded blank mind of Writer’s Block hits you upside the head like your momma slapping you after using the Lord’s name in vain, step outside. Get that fresh air and sunshine. Use the time to think about what your characters are doing right now. Is your heroine at work? Having lunch? Having a secret affair with her boss who just killed his wife because- see? It’s working already.
Clearing your mind, sweeping out the dust and mess can refresh your mind and thoughts. Just focusing on your breath and pushing out all the cluttered thoughts in your head will help you refocus and get a fresh start on your work.
3.) Write crap right there on the page
Yes, you read that right. Write every stupid idea that pops into your head. It doesn’t make sure? So what! Just keep writing. Eventually, you’ll find the path of the story.
4.) Write the opposite of what your character would do
You’re writing a mystery about a very conservative presidential candidate who was about to make a speech but you get stuck. Write the opposite of what a conservative presidential candidate would do in that scene. For example, “Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, strips off his clothes to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and twerks in front of the crowd.” This will get both you gastric fluids and the creative juices flowing.
5.) Change locations
Get away from where you usually write. I typically write at home so if I get stuck, I will run over to the library or the coffee shop or even the park and try to start again. A change of scenery can really help get new ideas rolling in.
6.) Take a break
Step away from the laptop. I see you, lingering there, staring at the screen. Move away and do something else for twenty minutes. This is when I will do some yoga or file some paperwork or watch an DVR’d TV show. Then go back to the work with a clear mind.
7.) Call a Lifeline
Call a friend, gossip, catch on what’s going on in someone else’s life. This will give you perspective and maybe an idea for what to write next! Hopefully, your friends are interesting.
8.) What Would So and So Do?
I love the book The Bell Jar. Love it. Sometimes I like to think about what Esther Greenwood (the main character in The Bell Jar) would do if she was in the situation that the character in whatever I’m writing is in. Sometimes the answer is hilarious or just plain strange but it gets me thinking and that’s the important part.
9.) Listen to a Podcast
There is a boatload of podcasts on writing. Find one and download it. Not only do they inspire the listener with stories of success but also tips on productivity and tips on breaking Writer’s Block!
10.) Switch Genres
What?! You’re a hardcore thriller writer so why would you try to write from a romance perspective? Because it might spark new ideas. It can give you insight into the character and how they may respond in certain situations so why not give it a try?
Next time you’re stuck in the black hole that is Writer’s Block, give one or all of the above tips a try. Most importantly, keep writing! Don’t turn into the “writer” who has Writer’s Block that lasts years. While life goes on, you lose precious time! Keep writing. Keep working. Keep striving for excellence!