Writer’s Block: 10 Tips and Tricks

Words in the Dark: Post 9

Many writers admit to experiencing writer’s block at some point in their careers.

writersblock-lesliesphotocropped2

After writing a number of successive novels, it is possible the writer’s ideas momentarily dry up, or the writer is simply exhausted. In that case, the writer may need to take a break from writing, rest, or do some other activities for a while to rejuvenate and to collect new ideas.

Major life events can also impact ideas and writing. In some cases, ideas for stories can flood in, with the process of writing acting as a creative outlet and cathartic release for the stress and emotions of the writer. At other times, the writer is drained and paralyzed, with no ideas forthcoming.

Usually, writer’s block is a temporary state, although it can be annoying when one is on deadline.

Some immediate tips

  • Start to write anything without worrying about how good it is or how well it fits with the rest of your work-in-progress. This gets the writing juices flowing.
  • Re-read what you had been working on. Sometimes this jogs your ideas. I use this technique during NaNoWriMo before I continue writing.
  • If you’ve flat-lined on a new project, try a writing prompt, look at photographs or art (these are good for mood and emotions, which can generate plot), write some character sketches, or flesh out a setting.
  • Listen to music and let your mind drift. This may not work for everyone, but it’s my primary source of inspiration. Not enough music listening = not enough scene crafting.
  • Change your surroundings. Go for a walk or drive, visit the park, sit in a coffee shop or a mall and people-watch.
  • Anything to do with water. It’s uncanny how the moment you’re too wet to write, you need to write. This includes hand-washing dishes, taking showers, and relaxing in candle-lit bubble baths. It probably applies to soaking in hot tubs, too.
  • Do something mundane or repetitive that keeps you in motion but allows your mind to wander. This can be housework or exercise that doesn’t require concentration.

Less immediate

  • Take a weekend road trip.
  • Go to a writing retreat.
  • Meet with other writers, local writers’ guild members, etc.

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction and fantasy, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning difficulties and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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5 Responses to Writer’s Block: 10 Tips and Tricks

  1. JJAzar says:

    These are some great tips! I find that the first one (writing until magic happens) works wonders. It seems counter-intuitive, to sit down and start writing when you’re stuck, but there comes a point when the writing starts looking good!
    Just the other day, I was stuck, unable to describe, in an engaging manner, how a character in my novel-in-the-works would lift a tin bathtub full of water. I stepped away for a bit, but when I returned, I started writing without a care for quality. Lo and behold, I came up with something rather funny! Great post, I’ve just subscribed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “It seems counter-intuitive, to sit down and start writing when you’re stuck, but there comes a point when the writing starts looking good!” — Well said!

      I’m glad you had success with your writing. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. danawayne423 says:

    Great tips! And right now…I need ’em all! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: June 2017 Roundup: Writing | Beyond the Precipice

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