Beating Writer’s Block

NOTE: I did have another poll planned for today, but after the dismal outcome of the last poll, I wont bother. Thanks for the people who voted.

Writer’s Block. We all know what it is, and I think you lucky if you’ve never experienced it. I know I have. According to Wikipedia, Writer’s Block can be minor, lasting a couple of hours, or it can be extreme, lasting for years, and even forcing writers to quit their writing career.

So what causes Writer’s Block? It can be caused by a lack of inspiration, or by a writer not wanting to write. But the more extreme cases are caused by physical sickness, depression or severe stress.

So how can we overcome this dreaded Writer’s Block? I’ve found several ways, and I’ll share them.

  1. Probably the most obvious would be to write everyday at a certain time, and write regardless of the quality you write.

  2. Try changing where you write. Perhaps Writer’s Block has come on because you are bored with the room you write in. Move to your kitchen, sit on the steps, whatever works for you.
  3. Do something else. I’ve heard that we can be most creative when doing something with our hands. Try gardening.
  4. Stretch. If you write on a computer (which you probably do), you probably don’t sit in the best posture. Even if you’re not suffering from Writer’s Block, stretch every now and again. Also, breathe deeply, because oxygen stimulates the brain.
  5. Let it rest. Leave your WIP for a few days before coming back to it. That way, you’ll be all fresh.
  6. Work on something else. Try working on a few of those short stories you’ve wanted to write. You can go back to your WIP later, and I’m sure you’ll find inspiration again.
  7. Plan ahead of time. Think about where you’re up to, what’s going to happen and all that before you sit down to write. That way, you can start straight away.
  8. Avoid interruptions. Don’t check you email or blog. I do that all the time, and when I do, time seems to  fly. I’ll quickly check my blog to see if there’s any comments, then, ooh, someone’s posted a new blog. Half an hour later, I’m stuck. Twitter isn’t that good either.
  9. Tell yourself to write for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, you’ll find that you want to keep writing.
  10. Give yourself permission to write badly. Writer’s Block might be caused by too high expectations. It’s a first draft. It’s important to get the words on paper. Once you’ve done that, you can edit later.

There you go. There are lots more ways to beat Writer’s Block, but those were just a sample. I hope you enjoyed it, and even learnt something. Because if you did, then this post wasn’t a waste of time.

Always Writing,

Little Scribbler

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4 Responses to Beating Writer’s Block

  1. kasie says:

    I find number 10 eases my writer’s block the most. If I know I can go back and rewrite, my mind seems to free up and not worry as much.

  2. No. 6 always helps me. 😀 I also find reading new or favorite books can get the creative juices flowing as well.

  3. “5. Let it rest. Leave your WIP for a few days before coming back to it. That way, you’ll be all fresh.”

    I would definitely advise against this one. Putting it down for a few days most often leads to putting it down forever, and moving onto the next bright, shiny new idea.

    Instead, I suggest doing some exercise related to your WIP.

    Do up a character biography, if you haven’t already. Something new might pop up to spark your creativity again.

    Skip ahead a few scenes and write something later in the story. It might help you work out your stuck point.

    Look over your outline again and see if you are missing some key story elements, or an opportunity to develop a weak aspect.

    Or, any of the other suggestions listed in your post 🙂 But don’t put it down. That just opens the mind to other parasites. Did I say parasites? I meant ideas… 🙂

  4. K.M. Weiland says:

    Great suggestions all! I have to say that I tend to think the whole notion of “writer’s block” is overhyped. It’s become an excuse to avoid writing, instead of buckling down and making creativity work for you. You first suggestion is the key to keeping the whole notion of writer’s block way back at arm’s length.

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