Beat Writers Block
Edited by Zoe Slavin, Charmed, Eng, Ephraim and 2 others
What to try!
- 1First have a notebook handy or a blank document on your computer ready. If you are writing in a notebook choose an ink pen instead of a pencil, and if you are using a word processor try to delete only when necessary. Having everything you write down available to you later can be helpful, even if it didn't make much sense when you first put it down. Now write EVERYTHING that comes into your mind exactly as it comes to you, even if it doesn't seem important. It may not seem to go anywhere at first but the more you write or type, the more you will subconsciously develop or begin to narrow into an idea. Try not to stop writing until you really have to or until you have made your way closer to an idea of what to write. Once you do stop writing, go back and re-read what you have written. If you hadn't gotten to a solid idea yet, sometimes just going back over the map of where your mind was wandering can bring something to the front of your mind.Advertisement
- 2If this doesn't work there are several other tricks to try to get the gears moving again. One of these is based on word association. Try writing one line, snippet of dialogue or even a title that sounds catchy to you. From there try to mold the phrase into something different one word at a time, each time try to make the phrase mean something else. Flipping words and ideas this way can help start your brain back up again, or take an idea you didn't love and try to shape it into something more interesting.Advertisement
- 3This next part works well for developing dialogue. If you already know what you're characters are meant to be talking about, try having a conversation with yourself about the topic they are supposed to be talking about. Talking out loud may feel silly at first, but it really helps you get a handle on how it might sound or how the conversation would develop between the characters. If you want to try to create dialogue to bring you a plot idea, try creating dialogue about something that happened to you recently and begin to edit and twist it until it begins to develop its own story.
- 4You can also try writing about inanimate objects. Try to give them a story, a personality, and describe them as much as you can. Even if it doesn't bring you any closer to knowing what to write about, it may just loosen up the gears in your head so you can think more freely. With this one, get goofy! Bringing your mind off of the subject you started to get writer's block during could be enough to help lift it when you return to your work.
- 5Write something random from real life and try to work it into your story. It is amazing how a real life situation can bring life back into your idea chest. Even if the real life situation doesn't fit well, once you are back in the writing groove again you can rewrite the situation to better fit. Don't be a perfectionist until later. Get something on paper, then edit and rewrite as necessary.
- 6Get on a bus, or go to an event where people interact. Visit a church. Do something out of the ordinary and keep a keen eye for an event or situation you can work into your storyline. Often writers block comes from too much routine in your own life. So do something you would not normally do and watch the outcome. Write about what you learn. Your brain is like a machine in that if you give it the same inputs all the time you will get the same outputs, but writing is about exploring uniquely interesting situations. Get some new input into your brain, but exposing yourself to new things or situations.
- 7Try to find something funny or something which amuses you. It might be a comic book or a DVD of an Adam Sandler comedy movie or surfing a favorite jokes website. Anything humorous that will take your mind away from the story that you are developing. When the cobwebs in your mind and in your heart have been swept away by laughter and smiles, you might be ready to go back to your storyline and write again. Maybe, being exposed to humor for an hour or two will give you new ideas to incorporate into your story.
- Keep everything you write while you're doing this brainstorming. It could come in handy later.
- Try walking away from what you're doing once in a while. If you focus too hard you could make your brainstorming backfire!
- Try to do some of this brainstorming every once in a while, even if you don't have writer's block. Doing it regularly can help you keep from getting locked up when you're trying to write.
- Don't get frustrated! Writer's block gets even to the best of us. Not getting angry or too overwhelmed by it can help it go away faster.
- Try to come up with your own methods. You know you and your writing better than anyone. Coming up and experimenting with ways to counter writer's block that are specific to you will help you keep the ball rolling while you're writing.
- Sleep on it! Maybe your mind is too fatigued, and this might be the reason for your writer's block. When you wake up after a good night's sleep or a power nap in the afternoon, this might be just the boost you need. Start writing, and your renewed energy will help you write and finish a classic!