02 Jan Avoiding Writers’ Block
I don’t get writers’ block. I’m not saying that to brag because my problem is the opposite – my brain throws out ideas like confetti. So I have files upon files of story ideas that three generations of writers wouldn’t have the time to write and publish. My issue has always been reigning in those ideas to focus on one story to actually finish it (if you share that, I’ll write a blog post on that too).
But back to writers’ block. Plenty of my clients and authors I speak to struggle with this. There are ways to get around it. One of the things I often say is to think of the little bear in the children’s book “Going on a Bear Hunt’, he’s determined to go on his little journey and as the kids sing “He can’t go under it, he can’t get around it, he must go over it.” If one direction or path or tool or writing group isn’t working for you, try something new! But also, telling that little story usually raises a smile which helps when an author is suffering.
So here’s a few quick tips to try to overcome writers’ block:
- Create a writing nook for yourself. Habits can help so if you’ve been sitting on your bed or in a coffee shop with too many distractions, try making a specific place where you can settle in and get in the mindset for writing. Print out a mock-up book cover, use an author mug, wear a favourite t-shirt, use the same pen,
- But just as habits can help some writers, breaking habits can help others! Change up your environment – write in a coffee shop or in the garden or attend a writing group, sit in a library, find somewhere to people watch. Change up what you’re staring at when you write.
- Change the physical way you write. If you normally tap away on your laptop, try writing in a notebook or using a typewriter or stick post-it notes to the wall and note out your scenes.
- Search online or on Instagram for writing prompts. Spend 10mins writing something new based on one of them. It might inspire a new story for your next book, or perhaps just jumpstart that missing spark for your current WIP.
- Free-write! Instead of trying to figure out what should happen in your story, try writing something funny or crazy or silly. Maybe even change up the genre entirely for a scene or two. It can help make writing fun again but who knows, it may spark something.
The point is whatever isn’t working shouldn’t stop you from writing your book. You might need to put it to one side while you go seek out some inspiration but you can get back to it – that’s absolutely okay!
Are you going to try one of these out? Keep writing and you could be a published author by the end of 2021 …