I’m gonna be honest, I had writer’s block trying to think of what to say in this article. (Ironic, I know)
It wasn’t even so much that I didn’t want to write this article, it was more of… well on one hand, it’s summer now, and I’ve been dying to get back on my bike, and the other hand, I wasn’t sure which direction to take this article.
As I was debating, I discovered (re-remembered?) something: there’s different kinds of writer’s block. They all suck, and are equally as annoying as each other too. But, they all have one thing in common: they can all be broken.
So, no matter which one you’re suffering from, whether it’s Too Many Plot-Lines writers block, Too Many Words, Not Enough Words or anything in between, below are tips I use no matter which type I’m experiencing that (so far) have helped get me out of my writing rut.
1. Switch Up Your Music
I don’t know how you normally write, but for me, I usually have music on. I like pulling the emotion from the songs and using it to help fuel my stories. Not every story has it’s own playlist, but a lot of them do. (Each book does, at least)
There’s only so many songs in the world you like, however, so sometimes, since you’ve got over 100 playlists, the song choices seem to twindle, and there’s usually different phases, where you listen to just the newer songs. While that’s great for your music tastes, it’s leaving your brain in the same set way of thinking. There’s only so many stories you can pull from a song, and even though it might be the perfect song for the emotional value, I bet you probably have an older song (one you no longer listen to) that evokes the same emotion.
I know, I know, “but I don’t wanna listen to an old song! I’ve heard it so many times!” Just… trust me. Sometimes you forget just how powerful your old favourites were. Also, since some time has passed since you’ve heard it, you’ve grown, experienced new things, and might take away different things this time around. You might connect to a different line in the song more then used to, or, you might discover the song has a whole new meaning. (Did you know Night Moves [Bob Seger] is about sex and not dancing?)
2. Stop Writing
If you’re super stuck on a section, take a step back. Go do something else. No, seriously. Have you ever been in the middle of writing and all of a sudden you just can’t… do… words?
Yeah, go take a break. You deserve it. No arguing, you do. Even if you have to get this done, and if you haven’t hit your word count yet, and blah, blah, blah… Stop beating yourself up, bro!
Look, I know it’s easy to fall into the trap of ‘I haven’t done enough writing today/this week/month/year, etc. but seriously? Take a step back. Now, breath. Look at how much you’ve accomplished so far. Count them, make a list if you have to. All the works you’ve finished/published.
Give yourself permission to take a break. You know who’s written less then you this year? Shakespeare. You know who else you’ve written more then?
- Edgar Allen Poe
- Virginia Wolf
- Ernest Hemingway
- P Lovecraft
That’s right – you’ve out-written some of the greats this year. Let that sink in.
You deserve a break. Go watch some T.V, go for a walk/run/dance break, eat, and for God’s sake, go to the bathroom! (Don’t worry, we’ve all been there)
You’re a smart cookie, but you won’t magically get past your writer’s block if you’re running in circles. Your brain can’t concentrate, especially if you’re super stressed. It’s one of the worst Catch 22’s there is. You start stressing because you’re not writing, and then you’re not writing because you’re stressed.
3. Write Something Else
You’re a stubborn one, aren’t ya? Alright, fine, if you must continue to write, write something else. Anything else. I’m sure you have some fifty-odd something other projects you could be working on. Blow the dust off that short story you gave up on four months ago when you got that light bulb for the novel you’re writing.
Don’t have any short stories on the go? Start and write one. Right now. Go find a random word generator online, pick 1 word and write a short story about it. In one shot. (Fun side fact, that’s where the Oneshot [term for a short fanfiction story] originated) Right now. Let’s say it should be under 5,000 words (10 Word pages). Short and sweet.
Can’t find any random story-starters? Or, don’t want to spend hours searching through the random generators?
No problem, here:
– Hot pocket
There you go. Now you have no excuses. Stop over-thinking it and just do it.
Seriously, I’ll wait.
Okay, I know there aren’t very many tips on this list, but the most important thing in breaking a writer’s block is to get your brain out of the rut. Get up, dust yourself off, and go do something else for a while. Stop concentrating so hard on the thing you’re stuck on. Subconsciously, you’ll still be wrestiling with it.
Everybody knows you always think of the solution to everything in the shower anyway, so, y’know, relax a little. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. (But there will be more on that in another post)
Alright, that’s all for this article. 934 words. I don’t think that’s that bad, considering I started this with writer’s block. There you go, living proof, you can get through it.
Do you have any favourite writer’s block busters you use? Let me know in the comments below!
Like this article? Check out more of my Writing Tips!