Well, that’s more of a cube… Writer’s block refers to when a writer begins to struggle to think of what to write, and it is very common. When writing you can often feel yourself losing your rhythm or suddenly not knowing where to go next. From one writer to another, I know how frustrating this can be. But though it can feel like it in the moment, this doesn’t have to be the death nail in your newest work’s coffin. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get back into your writing rhythm whenever writer’s block rears its ugly head.
What to write?
Coming up with what to write can be difficult. But for me generating ideas is easiest when you let the mind wander. Trying to force an idea is redundant. It may sound silly, but don’t forget to let yourself think before writing. Explore a topic and let the ideas flow. When I’m coming up with article ideas, for example, I like to list the categories available to me and throw out ideas on each, letting these ideas develop until I think of one that takes my interest. It’s always easier to write about something you find interesting.
Dead-end? Try a different route!
Not sure where to go from here? Take a new approach. The first draft is often not the one you end up going for. If you approach the scene you’re writing or the point you’re trying to make a different way, you may find this new approach leads to a clearer conclusion. It may reveal where you need to go next. And it may hurt to go back on yourself and ‘waste’ what you’ve already written, remember no part of the writing process is a waste. And sometimes ‘killing your darlings’ – removing something you like because it doesn’t work with the rest of the project – is the best thing to do. Like a catchy line that no longer fits the moment or a character you like that you come to realise now feels out of place. Reworking is part of every project and the effort you put in will show it in the end.
Take a Step back
Don’t be ashamed to take a short break. A change of scene can help the brain and clear your mind. Take some time to do something else. If you take a break and give yourself a chance to think you’ll be able to come back to it with a fresh perspective. Do another task. Fold your washing up, make a cup of tea or go for a walk, and when you get back, you’ll be able to continue with new eyes. The break may also let new ideas come to mind while you’re away, so bring a notebook or your phone just in case.
Don’t force it!
An ‘I must write’ attitude isn’t healthy. Writing is creative. You shouldn’t force it. Of course if you have deadlines, work towards them but it’s ok to take your time. That’s why time management is so important. Don’t wait until the last minute or writer’s block will hit much harder and every time you need to step away will take up time you may no longer have. If you find yourself exhausted by a project, cleanse your pallet and experiment with other ideas in the meantime. Then you may think of a way to continue, or even rework what got you stumped.
It’s never fun when you lose your flow, but it’s just something that happens. But remember it’s never the end of the world. Just remember to take a step back, have a think and enjoy the writing process! I hope these ideas can help you out next time you experience writer’s block.
What’ve you been working on? Did I not mention anything you find helpful when you have writer’s block? Let us know over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and get the discussion going!
Thanks for reading!
Oliver is a writer and journalist who loves fantasy fiction and table top gaming, with a bit of acting on the side!