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.
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.