Banish Writer’s Block for Good
- Even copywriters sometimes suffer from writer’s block
- Writer’s block can rear its ugly head in so many forms
- How these famous writers rid themselves of writer’s block
- Five tricks to banish writer’s block for good
- Ever feel like you have a novel inside of you?
At some point, you’re going to hit a wall.
Maybe you’ve come up with a great idea for a novel you want to write. You’ve told your best friend, your biggest supporter about this wonderful new project you’re starting.
You’ve even managed to write a few pages or paragraphs.
And then … you find yourself unable to continue. You’re stumped.
You sit down with the page or pages you’ve already written and can’t for the life of you think of what to write next.
So you get up, fix yourself a second cup of coffee. Throw in another load of laundry. Decide now really would be a good time to clean out the front hall closet.
Maybe later in the day, you somehow make it back to the computer screen or writing pad but … nothing.
The well’s gone dry. And you fear it’s dry forever.
Writer’s block can rear its ugly head in so many forms! But again, there are many writing greats who’ve gone before you and managed to defeat this dreaded demon.
Here are some of their tricks to banish writer’s block:
Maya Angelou would just write her way out of it, forcing herself to put words — any words — on paper until she reached the other side.
Neil Gaiman favors calling on unseen forces; when he reaches a writing impasse, he puts away his manuscript and ignores it for as long as it takes until his subconscious takes care of the dirty work.
And Hemingway used this trick:
The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel, you will never be stuck.
There is no single “writer’s block” — the phrase is a bucket into which to dump a whole sick ward of ills …
Fear of not being good enough. Inability to stay the course. Brain freeze when you’re trying to set up a scene.
Sure, it can be frustrating when your head feels like it’s stuffed with cotton balls. But here are some ways to break through the barrier of writer’s block and get your creative juices flowing again:
Banishing Writer’s Block Tip #1. Do something physical.
Go for a jog, a walk, a swim. I’m always amazed how helpful it can be to get away from the computer and do something non-mental. Exercise gets the blood flowing and the ideas churning.
Banishing Writer’s Block Tip #2. Read something inspiring.
I’ve even known writers who will type out, word-for-word, a favorite passage from a favorite author, as a way to prime their own creative pump.
Banishing Writer’s Block Tip #3. Freewrite.
Set yourself a goal of writing — anything — for 10 minutes without stopping. Don’t lift your pen from the page or your fingers from the keyboard. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar or anyone else ever seeing what you write. Just write whatever comes out.
Banishing Writer’s Block Tip #4. Listen to music.
Sometimes, using another part of our brain can help. Listening to music can change our mood, lead to more flow inside ourselves. Which then leads to more flow of words onto the page.
Banishing Writer’s Block Tip #5. Make a list.
Let’s say you’ve started writing an opening scene in your book. But you have no idea what you want to have happen. Instead of forcing yourself to write complete sentences, just jot down some ideas. Brainstorm, again without judging any ideas. What’s the worst that can happen? The best? Who is your main character? Write a list of their best and worst traits.
Really, breaking writer’s block can be pretty simple. Usually a block happens because our standards are too high and we’re sure we can’t meet them. But at the early stages of your writing process, simply writing whatever comes to mind is a great way to start. Stream of consciousness … it’s like priming an old water pump, it gets it flowing. There’ll be plenty of time to do the all-important editing later.
One more trick to keep in mind: take regular breaks. According to the Pomodoro Technique, we’re most productive when we work in 25-minute time slots.
Your Takeaway: Try using one or all five of these proven tips so you never have to suffer with writer’s block ever again.
Write Your First Novel or Memoir Now!
Donna Baier Stein puts being a published author within your reach. She shows you how to properly write a novel using her simple, 12-step process that takes you from start to finish. Learn More »