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Ways to Beat Writers Block

A few helpful and amusing tips and tricks to get you from staring at the page wondering what comes next to having your words flowing onto it.

By Elise L. BlakePublished 3 years ago 4 min read
Ways to Beat Writers Block
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

What is Writers Block?

If you haven’t experienced this before I hope you never have to, but writer's block is essentially being excited to write, making a cup of coffee, sitting down to write, and then staring at the blank page for five hours without putting a single word onto the page.

This says nothing about your ability to write, we all experience it at some point. It can be due to stress or just outside factors keeping the words from making it from our minds to our keyboards.

According to Merriam-Webster the definition of writer's block is “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece*”

So How Can I Overcome It?

Well, this really depends on you and your process, but to help you out of your stump I’ve made a list of a few I find helpful that you can try for yourself to get your hands moving along the keys once again. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction one of these might be just the thing you need.

Ask A Friend

A little weird of a tip as we mainly rely on ourselves and the world around us for our inspiration, but sometimes we all need a little push. When I was in a complete bind and had no idea what to write my next book about I started asking my boyfriend about any book ideas he had floating around in his head that he wanted me to write for him.

He came up with the initial concept and then my imagination and journalistic nature took over and I asked him any questions I could think of. By the end of my bombardment of his creative nature, I had a wonderful outline I could run with and the creative spark to fill in the blanks.

This also gave me the added support of having someone ask me every few days, “Did you finish that book yet?” in his excitement to see the finished project he constantly reminds me to be writing instead of binge-watching some TV show again.

Write Backwards

Siht ekil naem t’nod I on. (No, I don’t mean like this.)

Do you have a great idea for the end of your story, but you’re stuck on a blank page in the middle?

Skip it.

The grammar police are one thing, but I don’t know anyone that’s going to come after you for writing your novel the way that works best for you, besides, let's be honest with each other …you’re not going to let someone read it before it was finished anyway, are you? When it’s a finished novel they won’t be able to tell which page you wrote first.

So if you know the end write that first then just fill in the spots to get it there.

I outline my novels by chapter so when I’m stuck on one situation I jump onto the next until my character cooperates and gives me something to work with.

Take a Break

It’s possible you’re not blocked, you're just experiencing creative fatigue.

It happens at every type of job and writing is a job. You can’t sit down at your computer every day cranking out chapter after chapter or article after article and not need a dang vacation just as if you were a cashier showing up every day to scan an overwhelming amount of cat food and toilet paper.

Sometimes the brain gets overworked and it needs a day off.

It’s not the end of the world.

Take some time off from writing to catch up on some shows or even read a book. You never know, these activities may give you a light bulb moment that has you brushing the chips off your lap, jumping off the couch, and heading off to the races on your keyboard ready to get your ideas onto the page.

Talk it Out

Really… talk it out.

This may not help you if you are a traditional pen and paper or typewriter author, but if you type out your words using a smartphone or a laptop go ahead and take advantage of that microphone.

It most likely won’t be perfect, just the other day I was telling my phone to remind me to buy eggs and bacon when it instead reminded me I needed eggs and a cake pan. However, it will be words and thoughts on an otherwise blank page.

If you can’t dictate your words then speak out loud as if you were explaining the idea of your novel to a friend. This may help you jump over any mental hurdles or plot holes you’re needing to fill in.

Writing Prompts

Can’t get into the headspace of your current story? Try flexing your creative muscle with a short story or even just a paragraph inspired by a prompt.

There are many apps and websites that are filled with prompts in all different genres. You can even check out one of my previous articles that list prompts in genres such as thriller, romance, fantasy, and self-reflection.

Don’t Stress

If none of these work for you it’s perfectly ok and there’s no need to panic. Your brain may be telling you it needs a break for a little while.

A writer's block won’t last forever and you’ll be back into your story whenever you’re are ready. Stressing will only make things worse.

Tuck the project away for a little while and let it sleep and start an adventure with something new for a little while until the spark comes back.

I hope some of these tips were able to help you get back into your writing spirit or amuse you with a little distraction at least for a little while.

You are a writer and you’ll be back to your craft before you know it.

With love,

B.K

advice

About the Creator

Elise L. Blake

Elise is a full-time writing coach and novelist. She is a recent college graduate from Southern New Hampshire University where she earned her BA in Creative Writing.

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    Elise L. BlakeWritten by Elise L. Blake

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