Words in the Dark: Post 9
Many writers admit to experiencing writer’s block at some point in their careers.
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.
- Take a weekend road trip.
- Go to a writing retreat.
- Meet with other writers, local writers’ guild members, etc.