Wednesday, June 3, 2020

How To Overcome Writer's Block

Rebecca Mikkelson, Editor-in-Chief Authors 4 Authors Publishing
Writer’s block is the bane of every writer’s existence, and it happens far more often than we would like. So how do you get writer’s block, and how do you get over it?
Identify why you’ve got writer’s block
What do you mean, identify why I’ve got writer’s block? The words just won’t come, silly! 
Well, that’s true, but there’s usually a reason why you’ve got writer’s block. So what is it? I’ll cover three of the biggest reasons you and your fellow writers get writer’s block.
The idea that your work has to be perfect
I get it, writing is scary. I often suffer from this particular aspect of writer’s block; I want so much for the words to be perfect that instead of just writing, I freeze and stop writing altogether, and I can’t seem to move on.
Or when you’re starting a story, you’ve got the main idea down pat, but you don’t quite know how to get it out, and you’re scared it’s going to come out stupid, so you don’t put the words down. 
Or that even if you do write something and put it out there, that no one will like it, because your writing isn’t good enough, so you delay and delay writing this book.
Putting it off until you’re too tired
I fall victim to this one a lot. You’ve got a full day of adulting, and you’ve got to wait until your kids go to bed so you’ve got quiet time—provided you’ve got kids, and if you don’t and suddenly have children in your house, call the police. 
Now you’re so tired from your long day of whatever it is you’re doing, working, child-rearing, etc. that your brain is worn out, and all you want to do is be a blob and be entertained instead of having to create words…because words are hard.
You’ve got too much going on
This isn’t to say that it’s a bad thing that you’ve got a lot going on, but that isn’t always the best way to get writing done. This could be anything from someone pestering talking to you via text, social media, or in the room; someone watching a loud movie in the same room you’re trying to write in; finishing the next level in candy crush because you couldn’t beat it last night when you were supposed to be sleeping, and the list goes on and on and on.
Distractions are everywhere, man.
How to overcome your writer’s block
Now that we’ve talked about what causes your writer’s block, we can talk about the solutions for getting over those blocks. Unlike the last section, I’m going to five solutions that have worked for me in overcoming my writer’s block.
Take a walk
Those who know me know exactly how desperate I have to be to take a walk to overcome my writer’s block. Much like being creative, exercise can reduce stress and make you happy. If you don’t believe me, believe Elle Woods:
Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't kill their husbands. They just don't.
You might not kill your husband after taking a walk, but you might just kill that character you need to get out of the way, and that’s a good thing. 
Go somewhere else
We’ve all seen the overplayed trope in movies of writers in a Starbucks with their scarves and topknots typing away madly while they’ve got their earbuds in and an undrunk (or in the case of movies, never filled) cups of coffee. There’s a reason this is a trope…writers do it all the time. 
Going somewhere else and putting yourself in a new surrounding can really open up whatever block you’re experiencing, and the words will just flow. I’ve written many a chapter in a coffee shop when my husband and I are visiting family and he wants to do activities that I don’t really want to. And by golly, it was the most productive I’ve ever been while writing because I didn’t have any other option but to write. 
What else was I going to do? Talk to a stranger?
That’s how you get murdered.
Work on a different project
Sometimes the best thing that you can do is put your current WIP aside and pick up a new one. We promise that your old WIP isn’t going to be the sad little orphan whose parent never comes back for them, but it will help you start writing again. Once words start to flow with a different project, it’ll be easier to go back to your first one. 
Alternatively, you can do another project that isn’t writing but just as creative to reduce your stress and make it easier to write, like coloring, sewing, or doing a DIY project. Anything that gets those creative juices flowing.
Write first thing in the morning
Gross, the sun isn’t even up yet!
I’ve seen all over Twitter the #5AMWritersClub hashtag and I thought these people were crazy to get up that early to do some writing, but writing first thing in the morning and making a habit of doing it at the same time every day really will break the dam down. The last thing writers need to be doing is waiting for inspiration to strike because writing takes work. It’s a little bit like planning on being rich by waiting for gold to fall out of the sky and hit you. 

Plan, plan, plan

The last tip that I want to give you is the simplest one: plan your novel.
If you know where you’re going in the story, and each chapter, it’s much easier to write toward that goal. For example, when I started writing my series, I knew exactly where the series was going to end, and where each book would end for the most impact. With that in mind, I could plan each chapter until I hit those goals. 
Writer’s block still happens, of course, but knowing where I’m going makes it a lot easier to get over the hump quicker. 

I hope this post has been helpful for you, and that you can get back to writing ASAP. Join us next week when we talk about the importance of an author website.

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