Thoughts and Musings

Get Thee Behind Me, Writer’s Block!

How do you get through writer’s block?

This question has been posed in a number of writing groups and I have finally figured out what to tell people. So here are 5 ways I put the kibosh on writer’s block:

1. Keep a least two projects going simultaneously. 

I have had times that I simply did not know what I was doing. I would be writing along, happy as a lark and suddenly, BOOM, I have no idea what to do next. When this happens I often find myself moving on to my back-burner writing project. Working on the secondary project gives me my confidence back and helps me clear my head of whatever clutter got in my way to begin with. Once I get my groove back, I can go back and continue writing on my main project.

2. If you get stuck, go to the next scene. 

There you are writing and suddenly you don’t know how to end scene A to get to scene B. Don’t worry about it. Go on to scene B and the end of A will come to you.

3. Stop, breathe, visualize, describe. 

You can see it in your head, but you can’t get it on paper. Stop typing or writing. Close your eyes and take a calming breath. Relax. Visualize what you want your readers to see. Describe it to yourself. Don’t worry about getting the exact wording right. Use as many adjectives as you can think of. Spend at least two minutes just speaking the words that describe what you see. When you get all those descriptive words out, you will feel more prepared to describe to your readers what you want them to see.

4. Take time to inspire yourself. 

Does the smell of coffee remind you of a great date? Do you look at the clouds and remember that one perfect day? Can you listen to music for hours upon hours? What in this life inspires you? What makes you feel normal, like yourself after a stressful day?

Take time to do the things you love. Go for a walk, call your best friend, drink a glass of wine. Do what it takes to keep you feeling normal. These normal, everyday things, inspire our creativity. You don’t have to go to drastic measures to find your inspiration. Being who you are is good enough.

5. Read. 

This should be self-explanatory, but in case you haven’t noticed, good writers read a lot. No this isn’t an absolute rule, but close enough. Don’t assume you are one of the few exceptions. Read. A lot. It’s good for your brain, and it keeps your writing edgy because you know what has already been done. I call it “market research” but the fact is, I am a hopeless bookworm. So, read.

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