Getting through Writer’s Block
This week on the blog, I’m talking about writer’s block.
You may have noticed a pattern that my blog posts address something relevant to my own writing experience. In other words, last week I struggled a bit with writer’s block. Or rather, perhaps more accurately, ‘editor’s block’.
This sometimes happens when looking back over my manuscript. Some bits I enjoy going back over to revise. I’m quite happy with how a scene plays out, whether it’s a few lines of description or that I quite like where my character development is going.
On the other hand, there’s often a point where I’m really not happy with how things are going. In fact, sometimes I get a bit stuck with how to move forward. For example, my own writer’s block last week was because a chapter was nowhere near as ‘filled out’ a I thought. The setting was minimal and the whole build up of a subplot with a minor antagonist lasted only a couple of pages. It all felt a bit disjointed and one abstract piece of dialogue after another.
So, if you can relate to writer’s block, you may find the tips below helpful. If you’ve never struggled with it, that’s awesome, but they may prove useful if one day you become stuck.
1. Take a break
If you’re anything like me, your first instinct for writer’s block is to try to smash through it. Sometimes this works, but often I’ll end up just staring at my screen in growing frustration. Taking break can (literally) pause that frustration cycle. Whether it’s going for a walk, doming some housework or some reading, doing activities can help destress and when you come back, a solution may have present itself.
2. Go back to the drawing board
Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, going back to your outline – or starting one – may help you get ideas of where to go next. If you’re a pantser it doesn’t mean you need a full structure suddenly, but it may give you a bird’s eye view of where you’ve got to in your story so far. Does our narrative need another twist, or another bit of conflict in the middle?
Personally, I find going back to old-fashioned pen and paper works extremely well. (You can find out more in this blog post. (harking back to handwriting). Or another tip could be thinking about your story before you go to sleep – it might be your subconscious ticks away while you ream and by the morning you have the answer. Of course, if your manuscript is frustrating you, it may not be the best idea to ponder if it’s going to disrupt your sleep.
3. Talk your writer’s block through with another writer
If you have writer’s block, chances are you won’t have to struggle alone. Certainly there will plenty of other writers that have had the same experience! Are you a member of a writing group? Chatting through writer’s block with a writing buddy may help enormously to give you a new idea.
If you’re not in a group, you could till reach out to the awesome and supportive writing community, for example on Twitter or Instagram. I’m also happy to connect – feel free to get in touch if you’d like to chat writerly thins through with someone!
4. Writer’s block won’t last forever
You might well have tried the above tips and are still not sure where to go forward – and that’s okay! Writing is a complex process and sometimes the solution may just take a bit more time. Writer’s block usually passes. Again, if you’re anything like me, you may be tempted to be frustrated you haven’t got a way forward sooner, but try to be kind to yourself! Writing is an awesome thing and the fact you’ve got some words down is an incredible achievement.
Thanks for Reading
Thanks so much for reading! Have you struggled with writer’s block recently? Do you have any more tips for getting through it? Feel free to let me know by dropping a comment or connecting with me on social media. You can also get in touch via my contact me page. I’d love to connect with you!
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Till next time,