You’ve started writing that story of yours, the one you’ve been waiting weeks to write. At the time, everything had been planned and felt like it was strung together neatly, but now the ideas are becoming ever fainter by the minute and your muse is begging for more creative juices. You’ve stopped writing and your now becoming lethargic to the point of no return. This is what we call writer’s block.
So, how do you get rid of it? Is it curable?
There are definitely solutions to the issue, and there are also many different ways of tackling it. Essentially, it is all a matter of what works for you and your personal identities. Here are a few common solution to the problems you might be facing when writing:
1 – Take a break
This may seem very contradictory to the initial intention, but taking a short break is a fantastic method of freeing your mind of its worries and refreshing the system clean. A short walk, a light meal, a quick exercise activity – whatever suits your style, try to take a little break from your daily hustle and bustle. This will give your muse the much needed capacity to think, leaving your inner critic much less focused than before. Hydrate yourself, stretch your muscles and then slowly ease back into the working environment. But, whatever happens, don’t extend your break further than is needed otherwise you are simply feeding the writer’s block and embracing procrastination.
2 – Rethink your plans
If you’re suffering from writer’s block, it is usually the case that you are struggling to put the ideas from your mind onto the page. This could be just a simple need for reformulating and rethink the plans you originally made in order to see it from a different perspective. What exactly is making this particular scene difficult to write? Is it the setting, the characters, the backstory, the plot or just the entertainment you get from writing it? Once you’ve been able to answer that question you’ll be able to hone in on solving it and rethinking the ideas until it eventually sticks. Don’t worry if it’s not quite there just yet – there’s plenty of time to change this later, just ensure that you have some idea as to where you’re heading with the plot and let your muse do the rest.
3 – Write something different
Even if you’ve got your eyes focussed on a particular piece of work, writing something completely different can offer a fresh perspective the next time around and can broaden your mind to the possibilities. If you typically write crime fiction, perhaps delve into a fantasy poem and see what happens, or an extract from a romance film script, or a non-fiction review. Be experimental and don’t let your usual style take control. This is a chance to be expressive and to spotlight your abilities in their varying lights. A completely subverted approach can really benefit a writer mentally for their longer, more complicated journey ahead.
4 – Find further inspiration
Everyone finds inspiration differently – some through music and games, others through film, television and fiction. Whatever it is you enjoy to engage with, try to take some time finding that inspiration. It might take a while, but you will eventually begin to understand exactly why you personally like that text and you’ll then be able to extract influences from it. There maybe characters you resonate with, plots you are in awe at, or flaws in the text that you seek to avoid. This is an opportunity to analyse your influences and optimise them to their greatest effect so that your writing can become a culmination of those inspirations – not to mention that it’ll have your muse in creative overdrive.
5 – Write, write, write
And, if all of the above fail, try this one. Write until you can’t write anymore. Don’t listen to your inner critic, nor your mind. This is about getting the words on the page, no matter what they turn out to format as initially. They will be poorly written pages, but the point of this exercise is not to aim for quality but rather to achieve length to rid of the doubt and worry inside. If you feel that isn’t quite your pace and you’d rather have writing intervals, try to write as much as possible for thirty minutes and then take a ten minute break. Repeat that process until you’re content with the overall product.
Another method for this particular strategy is to plan your daily timetables. Tell yourself that you’re going to write two-hundred and fifty words in that day and you’ll most likely end up with more. This is generally because your muse has finally found its inspiration, baited by the thought of only having to complete a paragraph or more of work before relaxing. You want to write more because you have the ideas again, this time much more concrete and malleable. Every word feels more satisfying as the last and then you’re back to your usual schedule. That’s the moment of realisation, the moment your block subsides. So, what are you waiting for?
Good luck fighting your writer’s block!