It’s a terrible part of being a writer–the dreaded writer’s block! Words sometimes flow, and then other times, they don’t at all.
Here are my top five tips for getting back in the writing zone:
- Take some time out. It’s so easy to get burnt out in this writing game, especially because for many of us, it’s so all-consuming. It’s not just writing the next book. It’s writing a GREAT book. It’s analysing every word and making sure you’re okay with someone else reading it. And then there’s promotion. Social media. Blog posts and tours. Supporting your friends. Takeovers. Prizes. Playing limited-edition games of Scrabble using only names of characters from your books (just me?). The list is ENDLESS.
The pressure to write and keep up all that extreme activity is intense. Sometimes, just stepping away from the screen and giving yourself permission NOT TO write can be just the thing you need to lift the pressure and get you back in the game. Give yourself permission to take a break. Go on. You deserve it.
- Meet real people. For those who write full time or don’t make regular trips to an office or school, life can get lonely. There are days where I really only speak to my dogs (and my husband, but you know, they’re the only females I open my mouth to).
I know whenever I’m particularly stuck for words, if I go out and do something social, I come back with a bit more enthusiasm. Interact. Speak. Laugh. Forget about your characters for a moment and just enjoy humans. For me, it’s a surefire way to get some words on the page.
- Write something else. There’s a pressure scale that can relate to your deadline, and generally it goes like this: the closer deadline is, the harder the words are to come by. Or, at least I sometimes feel that way.
When I’m stuck like that, I like to write something else. If I’m trying to be super nerdy, I’ll go for a scene from the character in my current book’s childhood. That way, I’m still staying in that mindset, but it’s departed enough to be different. Whatever it is, I make sure it’s fun. My books in particular are quite emotional, so I’ll usually go for something action-packed and full of giggles and innocence.
- Do something. Just do it. Whether it’s going for a walk, or a run, or a swim in the ocean, I find so much more motivation to write after I’ve stretched my body and breathed deeply. And that feeling of cold saltwater as you dive in–bliss. I find I’m rarely more inspired than I am after that.
- Change your writing method. I can only write on the computer, but I know others who swear by hand. Whatever you’re doing, mix it up. Go back to basics. Hey, why not try dictation software, for that matter? Changing your routine can help spark new creative impulses inside your brain. Creatrons, I believe they’re called. Mmhmm. Trust me. That’s a thing.
So, they’re my top five. What about you? Do you have any writer’s block tips you’d like to share? I’d love to know more!
Lauren K. McKellar is the author of romance reads that make you feel. She is currently making angry faces at her WIP in the hope it brings her writing mojo back.