Tuesday, November 18, 2014

6 Tips to Help With Writer's Block

Sometimes writing can be super fun. And sometimes it can be a real job. At first the words flow on the paper, maybe even page after page. But then you hit a wall—the dreaded writer’s block. It seems like I have this every day. There are some days I don’t even want to write a single word. And then there are other days, I can’t stop. If you have had these same signs and symptoms of writer’s block, but ultimately love to write, there are some simple things you can do to spark up your interested again.

I know some people don’t like taking breaks, but sometimes (if you have writer’s block) it’s your mind telling you to stop and think about what you’re doing. Maybe you need to go back in the story and reevaluate things more. Like the road you drove your character down is a dead end street. There’s no other way to turn but to turn back again. And sometimes when you turn back, you’re still stuck. Seriously taking a break isn’t such a bad idea. Taking a walk, watching TV. Doing other things does definitely help. But that too sometimes doesn’t help. Then what do you do?

You keep trying new things to spark it up again. Because honestly, if you don’t and you quit all together, your writing will end there. And that isn’t such a horrible thing either. That’s when it’s time to find another hobby or something else you enjoy. But if you’re like me and have to write because it’s in your blood, here are some tips to help keep the writing going.

1. Read more: I know a lot of people say this in writing forums, but the majority of the time, it does work. Reading something else might get the wheels turning again. Study how it’s written. Maybe do another spin to it, like fan- fiction.

2. Writing something else: I mean writing something completely different and out of the norm. If you’re into writing mysteries, try adding a little paranormal element, or sci-fi or whatever one you haven’t tried before. Something that might interest you. Is your character in their twenties? Try making them younger. Try writing a children’s story or poem, or non-fiction. Keep testing out your voice. Have a female character? Try a male main character. First person present tense? Try third person, past tense, omni or whatever you think might work. The basic point here is to keep trying new things. Don’t pigeon hole yourself into writing just one way.

3. Change your font, size and or color: Now this might sound silly but it’s proven to work for some. It’s worked for me in the past and it may work for you. Just play around with the font change it from times roman to courier or something that’s pleasing to your eye. Play around with the size and color too. Heck, have fun with it and do all three. Don’t worry on keeping it times roman because all the agents and publishers want it that way. You can always change it back right before you submit. Remember to always read the guidelines when you do.

4. Print it out: You don’t have to print the whole thing out. Just a few pages or so. Go back a chapter or two and sit down with a red pen or pink or green or whatever you like, and revise that way. This could very well spark up new ideas and will motivate you to keep going.

5. Get a critique partner and or join writing forums: Once you join a writing forum, you can critique others work and learn more about your work. Getting others to critique your work is essential in the writing process. You can also find beta readers to help you one and one with you own work, as you help them with theirs. It’s a “I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine” analogy. It works for both parties involved.

6. Don’t give up: I know this is said all the time, but it really matters. If you keep writing, you will only get better. And if you are the most persistent person you can be, you will eventually have something published. Writing takes time. Getting published takes time. Allow yourself time to write. Unless you have a deadline, don’t pressure yourself too much. Let it come to you. And when you have that urge again and want to write, do it.


brenda said...

Helpful tips. When I feel stuck I go for a walk and let my mind drift. Something about the movement and non-thinking time works for me. Music is cure all for me too.. I like the idea of changing the fonts. It's almost as if someone else is typing.

Lisa M. Cronkhite said...

Thank you, Brenda. Music definitely helps too! Great suggestion.

RT Driver said...

The font thing strangely enough works...I thought I was the only one!

Lisa M. Cronkhite said...

Yes, it does! (maybe not always) But sometimes yes. Thank you for commenting, RT.