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What to do When You Have Writer’s Block

Every writer faces the dreaded writer’s block. To celebrate National Novel Writing Month, we’re offering some advice for how to work through it. This is especially useful for those who are participating and hoping to leave the month with 50,000 words written. 

So, what do you do when you experience writer’s block? We’re sharing with all of you ten strategies to help when you’re spending too much time staring at a blank page. 

1. Go for a Walk

Any type of movement is great for getting your mind working. It not only gives you a change of scenery, but new stimuli encountered from being outdoors is great for sparking creativity. Going for a long walk can get you out of your head and force you to relax. Who knows, if you walk in a picturesque location, it could even help inspire your story.

2. Get Inspiration from Other Writers

Learning about what other people who have found success in writing did to help them write works very well when it comes to figuring out how to get started. Search online for videos or articles from authors and learn what helps them when they experience a lapse in creativity.

3. Take a Shower

We don’t know about all of you, but hot water really helps us think. For some reason, the combination of relaxing hot water and self-care products gets us in the zone. If you’re lucky enough to have a hot tub, try that too.

4. Try Working on a Different Project

Sometimes your mind can run low on ideas for one project when working on it for an extended period of time. Switching projects means finding a new way to be creative. Think of it in the same way as switching workouts to target a new muscle group. Move on to a different writing project and come back to the previous one when you’ve spent enough time apart.

5. Just Start Writing Anything

Seriously, putting words to paper can help. You can even write something along the lines of: I don’t know what to write so I’m just typing any words that come to my head. I’m starting to get hungry, maybe I’ll have a sandwich for lunch. What is my MC’s favorite type of sandwich? Maybe in the next scene they should have a panini when they go to lunch with their friend. How much am I like my MC? In what ways are we different?

See, anything goes!

6. Get Silly

Write or do something goofy with no other goal than to just make yourself laugh. This is a great way to spark creativity and get the brain ready to come up with something original. Embrace your inner child and write the most ridiculous thing that comes to your head. That’s how we brainstorm Johan ideas. Johan has a knack for messing up, which makes writing his story so much fun.

7. Read

Sometimes you just need to curl up with a good book. Whether you choose to read the genre you write in or not, reading is a great way to get out of your head and escape into another. Your favorite authors can even inspire where you want to go with your story.

8. Put on Music

Writing with music on can make the experience more enjoyable. For us, it’s fun to put on a song that goes with the mood of chapter, whether it’s a cute romantic one or a creepy one full of suspense. Creating the right mood can help you picture the scene in your head.

9. Find a New Location

If you’re writing at home and not having any luck, go someplace else. Find a local coffee shop and use other patrons as inspiration. If you don’t mind not having WI-FI, find a beautiful outdoor location. A change of pace can help move the story along.

10. Go on an Adventure

If none of the above are working, put your pen or laptop down and do something different. Try something you’ve never done before and then write about it. Use it as inspiration for your character. For example, if you’re writing a mystery, try an escape room. If you are working on a romance, plan on a fun date night with your significant other. Or just do an activity you’ve always wanted to try. There’s no better way to get out of your head like changing up your routine.

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27 thoughts on “What to do When You Have Writer’s Block

  1. When I can’t think of any new topic to write or feel too distracted by other things, I start cleaning my house. It’s a weird habit. Sometimes I feel like it’s my brains unconscious way of removing the cobwebs from my brain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How awesome, I did not know it was National Novel Writing Month. Ending the month with 50,000 words would be spectacular. These are great tips that will surely help with the task at hand. My favourite way to overcome writer’s block is surely to go for a walk and get some fresh air but all the other options are very good too. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely think a lot of writer’s block comes from tiredness and distraction. It’s hard to sit down and think after a long day or when you have other things going on. In that case, I think it’s good to set small goals and just do what you can when you can. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how this list really focuses on trying to let go of the stress of HAVING to complete the task in front of you. I do that far too often. Then the stress of not completing it comes back and makes the writers block worse. This is a great list and I think it’s going to help plenty of people who take the time to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The shower is a true inspiration. The trouble often is your way down the road by the time you’ve realised it’s an inspiration. By then, you’re dashing out of the shower trying to get it all on paper but have lost the real essence of the inspiration. At least, that has been my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Going for walks is the bomb, for sure! I’m thankful I have a dog, because that means I’m kinda forced to go walking every day. Some days I don’t feel like it, but I end up feeling better having gone, and it does help with thinking.

    Like

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