Writer’s Block & How To Beat It

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When writers hear the words ‘writer’s block’, they think of a blank document and the blinking cursor of death. You could be there for minutes, hours or possible days (I seriously hope not!) at the same stage on your document with no words down and that deadline only drawing closer. It’s every writer’s nightmare.

Definition of Writer’s Block: “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.”

If you do the research, you’ll find a vast amount of information in books and on the wide web about how to beat writer’s block, and sometimes this can get you lost in the labyrinth of knowledge.

I’ve put together some of the tips and pointers I believe to be the best out there for curing writer’s block. If you think your suffering from writer’s block, then give some of the tips below a try and I guarantee that you’ll be back writing like Shakespeare in no time!

Cures for Writer’s Block

  1. Read – Reading is the perfect way to get the creative juices flowing again. Seeing the pros and writing styles of your favorite authors will inspire you to get writing and enhance your own style.
  2. Go for a walk – Walking allows your brain to switch into the subconscious mode, which is the best state for creativity, thinking about the scene you want to write this way will help relax your mind and brainstorm ways of getting through that scene.
  3. Creative free-write – This is great when you are trying to slowly ease your way into writing. Don’t think about your scene, instead, write a description about anything that comes to mind. It could be about your labrador curled up in his bed lost in sleep, or about how the lady has a secret attraction towards the milk man. You choose.
  4. Write a different scene – You may be excited to write another scene that has more action or romance in it. If that’s the case, skip your current scene and write that instead. All is fine as long as you return to your original scene eventually.
  5. Listen to music – Playing music that matches the mood and tone of the scene you’re trying to write will encourage your excitement and slowly put you into the setting of that scene.
  6. Just write – Yes, the first 10-20 minutes may be painfully agonizing but you’ll get over that eventually. Remember, nothing lasts forever.
  7. Plan the night before – If you’re stuck in a rut because you genuinely don’t know what your next scene is about, then sometimes it helps to brainstorm it out the night before you actually write it. This way you won’t come to the desk without a plan of action.
  8. Get to know your characters more – This is a common one for me. I get engrossed in the story I’m writing and jump into it too soon before spending the time to learn who my characters are, ultimately, leading me into an unknown frenzy because I don’t have their unique personalities in mind, so I don’t know how to go about writing a scene from their perspective. Get to know your characters before you jump in.
  9. Talk it through with a friend – Sometimes just talking about it with a close friend or family will free you from your block. By simply talking about it out loud allows you to get your emotions out in the open about the scene.
  10. Other things could be on your mind – You could be bogged down by other things. If this is the case, take some time out to write them down on a piece of a paper and get them off your chest. Talk about why they’re bothering you and why it’s blocking you. Once you’ve done this, take a small break before returning to write again.

I wanted to add three really great quotes from well-known writers that whenever I read them, it gets me going and I just want to start writing without further hold-up. They are:

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” – Ernest Hemingway

“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.” – Peter Handke

“We’re past the age of heroes and hero kings. … Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it’s up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.” – John Updike

GOLDEN RULE: Know you’re not the only one going through this, you’re not alone and will get over it. 

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