Last week, I wrote about being stuck on a scene. You write and rewrite but the scene doesn’t flow just the way you want. No matter what you try, you can’t seem to get it “just right.”
So I wrote some tips about how to deal with that problematic scene. And as I wrote, I realized that many of the tips were also one that would help authors who suffer from the dreaded WRITER’S BLOCK.
Yes, there are times when you are sailing along writing your latest masterpiece but sometimes all that stares back at you is that blank screen. You can’t think of what to write next. You don’t feel like you have a creative bone left in your body. You want to throw in the towel. It happens to all of us at some point.
Here are a few ideas to get the juices flowing again. One may work this time and not some other time so be prepared to try a few until you break through your writer’s block.
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 improve the writing when I transcribe it into 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.
4.) Reread yesterday’s work – Perhaps reading what you worked on yesterday (or the day before) 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. 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. (If you are a planner and already have this novel outlined then perhaps you can brainstorm future story ideas.)
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.