If you’re a writer, you’ve most likely experienced writer’s block to some extent. We always want a direct answer to help us, but there is never a simple answer. We are all completely different people. The way we live, act, experience, and write are not the same as the person next to us, therefore, there cannot be one simple solution that works for everyone. Some writer’s say to just “sit down and write,” emphasizing that you just have to force your way through the situation. But this leaves new writer’s high and dry when they cannot fathom doing that. That method doesn’t work for me, as I’m sure numerous other writer’s cannot use that either. If anything, it makes me resent writing.
Since we’re all different, that also means we have different quirks. Writer’s can be very particular that it makes sense we can’t always have one or two right answers to help our creative process.
Before I realized there are multiple different situations that affect writer’s block, I would always compile all the good advice, try them out one by one, and figure out my own methods. But now, ten years later to starting those lists, I’ve come to find that my writer’s block varies depending on where I am in my life.
Are you going through something?
Are you stressed?
Is your schedule chaotic?
Are you stuck specifically on a scene? Can you go to another scene?
Is there something keeping you from writing?
Are you afraid to write the scene?
One thing everyone has in common is that the words just won’t flow. But if there are multiple reasons as to why they are stuck, there’s also multiple reasons on how to fix it.
I’m going to share a few of my methods. Feel free to share yours! I love hearing what others do.
Take a walk and enjoy nature
Sometimes you just have to get the blood flowing. If you’ve been writing for a while and then get stuck, get out of wherever you are and look around you. People watch. Listen to the birds. Feel the sun on your face. Or even think about the scene that’s giving you frustration. Most times, I’m able to work out what’s causing the issues if it’s a scene stumping me. I’ve even been known to have conversations with the character’s, literally speaking out loud in public while I interrogate my character.
Have a dance party
Step away from your computer, put on your best energetic music, and dance like no one is watching. Just let go, give your brain a breather, and then sit back down. On this too: change up the music you listen to while writing, if you often have music playing.
I’m a coffee shop writer, but I’m very particular about where I sit, who is around me, and the entire atmosphere of what I hear and see from where I am. So if something changes or I’ve been in one location too long, I pack up and move to another place. I’ve been known to relocate three to four times before I call it a day.
Stuck on one story, but have other ideas?
Work on those other ideas. Take your mind out of what you’re incessantly working on. Free write other characters and situations, you may find yourself yearning to get back to the old project! And if not, it’s a good break for the brain.
Write random gibberish
Sometimes that’s the best. I’ll just open up a blank document and write about how much I suck or how great I am, depending on how frustrated my writing is making me. Sometimes I have to praise myself even if I don’t believe it to continue writing. But other times, it’s just looking at a fresh document or sheet of paper knowing anything can be written.
Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.
This is almost always on every single writer’s block post. If you can’t write your own world, invest your time in someone else’s world. It’s the best cure and you’ll be inspired by it!
My current writer’s block is a new situation for me. Currently, I just sent off my novel for publishing and I’ve hit a wall. But I’ve been working on two other stories that I still have ideas for. However, I haven’t given myself proper closure to my characters in the first novel, therefore I cannot move on yet. It’s keeping me from writing, when I know that I should. But what am I doing instead? Reading an insane amount. I spent so much time on my novel in the past few months, I barely had time to pick up someone else’s book. And in the last two weeks, I’ve read six books. Honestly a record for me. But it brings up my mood, doesn’t make me feel like I’m wasting time by not writing, and it’s opened my eyes to new stories, character’s, and even structures!
So if you’re suffering from a case of writer’s block right now, close your eyes, take a breath, step away from the computer, and try to connect to what you love and enjoy. Sometimes just a change in activity is enough to spark us back to the story.
And in the end, if the writer’s block doesn’t break for a story … maybe it doesn’t need to be written. But only you can be the judge of that.