Welcome to my new weekly meme "Project to Published" helping aspiring authors and all who share their love for writing!
Passing the Dreaded Writers Block
Writers block can happen to anyone at any stage of a project. No matter the project, suddenly the creativity stops flowing and you are left wondering what happened to all of those nights when your mind was running with so many ideas you could hardly fall sleep. Although the first step may sound silly, it is important to acknowledge that you have writers block because it is harder to get past if you are not honest with yourself.
Once you realize and admit that you are struggling, you are more likely to try to work past it and persevere instead of procrastinating and allowing the situation to get worse. I am as guilty as anyone in allowing procrastination to sneak in, but my defense remains my honesty when I’m hitting that block. Here are a few simple tricks that I’ve learned that really help.
- Remind yourself of what first inspired you (What gave you the idea? Was it a song, a picture? Is there anything that reminds you of that moment of inspiration or your story? Maybe you should keep it on hand. You never know it just might be really helpful.)
- If you have an outline for your novel, then don’t be afraid to skip ahead a little bit and try a different scene – you can always come back and fill in the blanks later. Just remember to take into consideration any changes that might occur during your story. For example, if your character gave someone a necklace they are wearing in the last scene, but you can’t decide how to write him or her giving it to the character and therefore skip ahead, the character with the necklace will need to be wearing it. (I will be doing a “Project to Published” post later on about outlining.)
- Start a journal! Writing everyday always helps. Think about exercising. Doesn’t it become easier over time to do that workout? The more you do something, the better you get and the more natural it becomes. It will also become easier for you to write on schedule.
- Flip to a random page in one of your favorite novels and read it (Make sure it is the same genre as what you are writing or you may change your style). Sometimes remembering how much you enjoyed reading something can help re-awaken the writer in you.
- Sleep matters! Although it may sound strange, sleep is key to concentration. A healthy, well-rested mind will be able to give you the level of creativity you desire during the day. It may even help your creativity at night through dreams.
- Keep it fun! You should be writing because you love it – anything you can do to remind you of that love can help! Don’t be afraid to sing at the top of your lungs, listen to loud music, watch your favorite show or dance randomly because you want to. Writing is work, but work can be fun!
Getting past writer’s block can be different for every person, but hopefully the above tips can help. The biggest mistake a person can make is not striving to get past it. As a published author, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t keep trying and working to get past each and every blank page, seeing them as opportunities instead of dreading them. In many ways, being a professional author is like being an actor/actress – you have to be able to call upon your emotions or muse. Some professionals spend years working on these skills, but all of it begins with something inspirational. Find something that inspires you and let that inspiration help you along the way!
What is your inspiration?