Melanie B. Horev
5 tips to combat writer's block
Updated: Jul 23, 2022
The be honest I do not experience a lot of writer's block but when I do it crappily annoys me. Yes I know crappily is not a real word, but it should be.
How does it go down? Well I sit down to finally write, end of the day usually and I catch myself sitting and staring at the screen. The curser is blinking wildly, my body excited to write, and my mind has gone numb.
Where are the characters going? What is their mission? How to overcome this hurdle? Does the dialog sound real? If not how can I improve it? I don't know. I get frustrated and most of all I want to procrastinate.
Don't do that. I will tell you why in a minute.
Now when the dreaded writer's block happen I do have a few ways of combatting it. Actually some of the advice is preemptive. I know that my experience is limited, since I am only working on my first two books, but that does not mean I haven't experienced the issue.
Writer's block usually happen to me after a period where I have been very busy working, being with the kids, doing sports or errands and my head 'fell out' of the story for a while. Does that happen to you too?
If yes then I will get to my top 5 tips below that might be able to help you, as they have for me.
I promised I would let you know how important it is not to procrastinate, especially using social media, which I am guilty of too. It goes together with my first and most important advice. Let's get started.
1) I can't stress this enough: Writer's block doesn't happen (to anyone) if you already know what you are going to write before you sit down at your computer or at your notebook.
How will you already know what to write? Yes, legit question.
Let me explain.
So what I do is I use my imagination and think of my story at all times when other tasks are not requiring my mental attention. For example: When I do dishes, when the kids are playing at the pool and I am not actively involved, when I walk places, when I sit alone at lunch sometimes. At these times I used to take out my phone to occupy my mind - I still sometimes do. But now I actively take out my story instead. I start imagining all these scenarios for my characters and for my plot, and when I finally get to sit down to write the words are suffocating the page, just dripping down like juice from a ripe mind.
2) I challenge myself and my plot. This one is more tricky cause you might not use the idea in your book eventually, but it is a good exercise to grow your mind and the story. What I do is that I write in bullet form on a fresh piece of paper a few crazy scenes or scenarios that could happen in my book. Like really crazy. I try to exaggerate and make them highly unlikely. After that I find a way to make them likely. For example: Rosa's dead lover comes back to life. Unlikely right?. But what if.. He didn't die at all, she just thought he was dead, and now I am thinking of creative ways to bring him back to life. For example resurrection (sci-fi, fantasy), he faked his own death, it was someone else body she saw etc. In that way I have come up with some new and good stuff. I think. Well let's see.
3) number three is simple but effective and it goes together with 1). I go for a walk, or a run to clear my mind and use my body in a physically demanding way. Those are times where you I am able to think clearly about what needs to happen next, and from those walks or runs (or whatever you like to do) I usually get an idea or two.
4) I put my computer away and I simply read books. By reading other peoples work I get inspired, it fills me head with new ideas. I have recently read the 'Shadow & Bone' trilogy and absorbed some inspiration for a half loveable bad guy. I finished 'Wool by Hugh Howey' and was driven to make my main character a bit more of a bad-ass and a less of a goody-two-shoes.
5) Just be. I know it sounds half weird. Or not. Depends on who you are. What I do is I put the computer down and lay on the couch for a bit, this can be overly dangerous if you are a sleeping potato like me. That being said, when I manage not to pass out, I let thoughts fly into my head. It usually starts with tasks, and chores. Then slowly it flows to people and work. After a while, assuming I am not snoring, the ideas for the book pop up. This last one is at your own risk, but it can work!
Alright that was it from my super newbie author tips. I hope you can appreciate some of them, and if you can not, that is completely fine too. Happy writing to you all. Let me know what you think below.
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