So there you are. Sitting cross-legged at your desk. You’ve straightened the pictures on your wall at least one hundred times. You’ve gone into the kitchen twice now to refill your coffee mug, yet your paper is still blank. That white sheet is taunting you. “See?” it starts, “See? I told you you would never be able to do this.”
Well, I’m here today to tell you that you can do anything, writer. One of my favorite quotes on writer’s block is that of Fennel Hudson. “Confront the page that taunts you with it’s whiteness. Face your enemy and fill it with words. You are bigger and stronger than a piece of paper.”
When faced with writer’s block guess what you do? You write. Even if it’s total bull. So today, I want to give you a few tips on how you do just that.
1). Don’t edit when you write. I know. It’s hard. But you have to push past it. When I write, I use a pencil, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I used an eraser. Don’t ruin the magical flow to go back and change that character’s name. Yes, for a while they might deal with an identity crisis, but you can fix that when you go back through and edit.
2). If you’re really, really stuck, it’s okay to take a break and write something else. Write this week’s grocery list. Write a letter or journal yesterday’s events and tomorrow’s dreams. Or just write a list of words you like.
3). Do a timed exercise. Start your phone’s stopwatch for 10 minutes and write. This exercise helps you forget to think, to push aside all constraints, and vomit as many words as possible during that timeframe. This one helps me the most, but be careful to only do this once every so often, because word vomiting drains you fast. This is why I have a problem with NaNoWriMo, but that’s a topic for another time.
4). Go back to the basics. Gather up all your technology. Phone, computer, whatever else, and put them all on the highest shelf in your kitchen. If you usually write on your computer, take out paper and pen and write organically.
5). Maybe you just need new scenery. My novel takes place in the Scottish highlands, so I love writing outside. But maybe you need to go to your local coffee shop, your closet, sometimes I have even written in the bathroom. I find that putting myself where my character is really helps me understand them.
6). Feed yourself someone else’s creativity. Sometimes, when I’m really struggling with writer’s block, I read some Harry Potter. I love J.K. Rowling’s writing style and her boundless imagination. And sometimes, channeling Rowling makes me feel like a literary goddess.
7). Talk to people. Throw out ideas at your tribe, that’s what we’re here for, writer. Throw some ideas at your significant other, or come on over to our FB page and be confident in the fact that you’re sharing in a safe place.
Those are just a few of what I find most useful when struggling with writer’s block. But now I want to hear what things you use against writer’s block. Writer’s block is a real thing, and just because you struggle with it doesn’t mean you are a terrible writer. It means you are a really good writer, but you have to remember not to let the blank page win.
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