Yesterday you were sailing along writing away on your latest masterpiece but today a blank screen stares back at you. Nothing flows like it did the day before. You have been struck with writer’s block. It happens to everyone at some point.
Here are a few ideas to get the juices flowing again.
1.) Take a break – Sometimes taking your mind off of the problem can help. Get up and do something else for about 30 minutes. Get a drink, read the newspaper, take a walk, clean out the closet. Free up your mind and then give it another try.
2.) Change your location/writing method – If you are sitting at your desk and have a laptop, move outside (assuming the weather is nice) or to another room. If you don’t have a laptop or tablet, you can still move to another location and try writing in a journal. I have found that sometime writing long hand frees up my thinking. (And I can improve the writing when I transcribe it onto the computer.)
3.) Just write – Open a new file and began typing. Sometimes getting started writing is half the battle so just write whatever comes to mind even if it is unrelated to your story. Write about your cat, what you did yesterday, the color blue – it doesn’t matter the topic as long as you get some words on the page.
4.) Reread yesterday’s work – Perhaps reading what you worked on yesterday will get you back in the groove and spark your creativity to begin writing the next scene.
5.) Work on a different scene – Pick some other scene on your novel to write. No one said you had to write in chronological order. You can write the bar scene before they even get to the city. Of course if you pick a scene too far advanced in your story, you may not know exactly what is happening and whatever you write may have to be reworked to fit into your story but at least you are writing.
6.) Brainstorm on future scenes – Assuming you aren’t working from an outline you can use your writing time to plan ahead. Think about where your story will be going and what obstacles your protagonist (or perhaps your antagonist) will encounter.
7.) Call it a day – Sometimes you just have to stop trying and come back the next day. If you try too hard, you can make things worse.
No matter what you try, just realize that writer’s block doesn’t last forever. Try not to stress over it because the more anxious and frustrated you become, the worse it will be. Free up your mind and the creative juices will be flowing before you know it.