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10 Ways to Overcome Writer's Block

1.    JUST WRITE

This is the most basic technique and in the end, it all comes down to this.

Your goal is to write. If you’re not writing, you’re failing.

Some people get caught up in how to phrase things perfectly, so instead of writing something imperfect and then putting it through a series of revisions, they write nothing at all.

Some people get stuck, because they can’t figure out what their character should do next, or how to get the character out of a certain situation, or where the story should go, so the page stays white.

Look, if you just WRITE…many of the problems will solve themselves.

No one writes everything perfectly on the first attempt, so getting caught up in trying to be a perfect first-draft writer is sort of silly. Having some writing down on the page, even if its bad writing is good! It’s a start and it gives you something to work from. Even if you crumple up everything you wrote and throw it in the trash, you’ve already made progress!

How?

Because you’ve moved your project forward in several ways: First, you’ve learned what you don’t want to write, which will help you to write what you’re looking for on your next try. Second, you’ve gotten all that bad writing out of your system and you’ve revved up your brain for optimum performance. It’s like jogging, before you do your competitive sprint. And finally, you’ve stuck to your goals and produced, so you should feel good about yourself and what you’ve done, because you’ve accomplished your goal.

Now, if you’re stuck with where the story should go, or what your characters would do, write your way out of it. Try writing one scenario and if it doesn’t work, write another. There’s no limit on how many attempts you can have to write a scene, or the entire story, if need be.

2.    JUMP AROUND

Writers often have to write certain scenes that they may not be particularly interested in. Not being interested in something you’re writing is never good. Many writers procrastinate writing the sections of the story they’re less interested in, or are less sure about, or the sections that will require the most effort.

If you’re not writing, because you’re stuck on a certain scene, the important thing is that you should be writing. Jump to another scene and get busy.

Just because people usually read books linearly and watch movies linearly doesn’t mean you have to write that way. Jump ahead in your story and write the other scenes you’re interested in, or jump back in time and write a scene you have a good idea for.

When you have 10% of a script finished and you’re struggling to write a scene you’re stuck on, it’s hard to get the motivation, but when you have 85% of the script finish and you can see the finish line, it’s a lot easier to push forward through the home stretch. Also, with more of the story finished and the characters more fleshed out, it’s likely your decision-making and the writing itself will come easier. 

3.    PLAN AHEAD

Some people get stuck, because they didn’t plan out their story. They don’t know what comes next and they have no idea when they’ll be able to figure it out.

You can avoid this problem by laying out a framework for your book or screenplay. You construct a sturdy foundation, erecting a skeleton with all the bones in order and then it frees you up for the next step, fleshing out all those bare bones. It’s easier to focus on one thing at a time.

4.    PLAY THE MOVIE IN YOUR HEAD

Maybe you’re stuck on what happens next, or you’re not sure how your character would respond in a certain situation. Rewind the story in your head and play it like a movie. You can play that story through your imagination as many times as you need to, until you love what you see. Then, all you have to do is transcribe the movie in your head onto the digital file on your laptop.

5.    BRAINSTORM

When you’re planning out the structure for your novel, book or script, don’t forget how helpful brainstorming can be. Sure you probably figured you left word-maps and graphic organizers behind, when you left high school, but guess what, those tools can still help you!

Make massive lists of ideas and then choose the ones you like the most.

Make lists of possible character actions and then choose the most interesting action the character might make, which still fits their personality.

Create detailed character sketches to help you get a better feel for the participants in your story. 

6.    LET THE CHARACTERS LEAD

Sometimes, your characters will give you your answers and tell you what to do.

While many of the writing gurus preach preconceived structure, for those who are more adept at characterization, there is an alternative. You just might be an exception to the rule.

You can design those great three-dimensional characters of yours and then toss them into an interesting situation and let them tell you the story. You just kick back and see where it goes. The amazing and exciting thing about writing a story like this is that you’re the writer of a story you don’t know and it may be fun to see what unexpected directions your characters take things in.

Let this tip come with two serious caveats. First, you have to be an excellent character-writer for this to work well and most writers are certainly lacking in that area and second, the writing gurus will all probably be the first to tell you that you’re better off starting with a strong and well- planned structural base.

7.    GIVE IT TIME

Have you been sitting there for hours, hardly writing a thing and racking your brain for the solution, or the perfect line for a character to utter?

Just walk away. Give yourself some time.

Your creative process has become work and just like work in the real world, when things get tough, you can benefit from some time off to clear your head.

Give yourself a brief vacation and if nothing else works for a long time, give yourself a long vacation and come back to it.

You’ll be amazed at how this technique can solve problems and inspire you.

They say, you can only step in the same river once and this is a good example. When you’re writing, your brain is in one place and it may be utterly stuck. Later, your brain will be in a totally different place. You are on a different wavelength and you may solve the same problem you spent hours on, in a matter of seconds, with minimal effort.

Likewise, it’s always good to revise projects after a prolonged break, as well as immediately after the completion of the last daft. The time away often helps you discover problems you didn’t notice, solutions you weren’t aware of and the fact that what you thought was wonderful when you were writing often isn’t wonderful at all. 


8.    RESEARCH

So you’re stuck and wondering where you should go next with your story. Do some research.

Search the internet for your topic and get some new information. Read some interesting articles, which relate to your subject. Read some books or watch some movies that deal with your area and try to start some interesting chats about it with friends and family.

You will find that immersing yourself in your topic, sets your brain on the right wavelength and will often turn-up little golden nuggets you can incorporate in your story.

9.    SET A SCHEDULE WITH GOALS

It’s very difficult to accomplish your goals, if you don’t know what they are and it’s very difficult to do them on time, if you don’t know what the time frame is.

Writers are often very creative, eclectic, sometimes eccentric individuals, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to try to organize themselves.

Get a desk calendar. Set your daily goals, your weekly goals, your monthly goals, your yearly goals and yes, even your lifetime goals. Plan your calendar accordingly.

It’s your job to make sure that what’s supposed to happen on that calendar actually happens and you can view that as an adventure of the caliber of Luke Skywalker’s struggle with Darth Vader and the dark side of the Force.

You planned it. You committed to it. Now dig in and fight for what you want.

Make your dream a reality.

10.    IMPROVE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Where do you write? Is it in the living room, where your children are constantly disturbing you? Is it at your office, where the phone is frequently ringing and work is demanding your attention?

Philosophers can argue that you are or aren’t a product of your environment, but the truth is the success of your writing is definitely, at least partially, a product of your environment.

You need to be in a stable undisturbed working area. You need to set boundaries to give yourself the necessary creative freedom.

You need to gather the correct materials to inspire yourself.

Do you write better when a certain type of music is playing in the background?

Are you happier and more productive in a brighter, more airy environment? If you’re writing a depressing horror movie, maybe you should make sure it’s not so cheery.

If you post a picture of your loved ones near your work station, does it elicit more effort?

Do you save all your rejection letters? You could post them around your office, so you can glare into the face of the obstacle you must overcome.

Everyone is different. Find out what makes you tick.

The story may all take place in your head, but the writing actually takes place here, in the real world. Try to make sure you do the best things here, to give yourself the optimum chance to transmit your gem from the ether to the here and now.



Logical Spiritualism could use your help. What tips for overcoming writer’s block would you suggest to other writers???

Comments sent

3 comment(s).
mafia city game - 9/13/2018 4:14:10 AM
Shooters are capable of wielding all kinds of arms, from submachine guns, rifles to artillery and many more.
DEBEM BOXER 15 - 4/14/2018 2:31:06 AM
Because you have moved your project in a number of ways: First, you have learned what you do not want to write, which will help you write what you are looking for the next time. Secondly, you have gotten all those bad documents out of your system and you've revved up your brain for optimal performance. It's like jogging, before you sprint your own. And finally, you are clinging to goals and production, so you will feel good about yourself and what you have done, because you have accomplished your goal.
Lucinda - 4/17/2012 3:09:45 AM
Know your story structure: http://www.clickok.co.uk/index4.html which tells you what you should be doing next and bounce ideas around to solve that problem.

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