Writer’s block is unavoidable. It doesn’t matter if you write for yourself, for just a few readers, or an audience of thousands, every writer will experience the frustration of feeling completely and utterly stuck.
So how do you get through it? Here are my top five tips for overcoming writer’s block!
1. Try Free Writing
This is a technique I learned in one of my Creative Writing classes at university. Find yourself a pen and paper, and spend some time just writing literally whatever comes into your head. It helps to give yourself a topic, but try not to be too specific. The point is to write continuously; don’t lift your pen from the page. Even if you run out of things to write, don’t stop! Write about not having anything to write, repeat words, make something up, scribble and draw until you find inspiration. Don’t read it back until the end. Don’t edit. Don’t think too much.
You might be surprised with what you come up with!
2. Listen to Music
I usually listen to music while writing anyway, but it can be particularly helpful if you get stuck. Maybe you’re writing about yourself and have a certain song that conjures a memory? Maybe you’re attempting a break-up scene and need a power ballad to get you in the right mindset? Or maybe you’re stuck on a dramatic fight scene and need to listen to a movie soundtrack?
Find music that matches the tone of your writing and let it inspire you.
3. Read Anything and Everything
If you need to take a break, or maybe you just need some inspiration, it can be incredibly useful to read. Read work on a similar theme, read work by your favourite author, or read a completely different genre altogether.
Hopefully by reading anything and everything you will remember why you started writing in the first place and it will be easier to get back to it.
4. Take a Break
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, the words just won’t come to us. If this is the case then take a break. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you can return to your writing refreshed and, hopefully, without the block!
5. Write, Write, Write!
Now I’ve just suggested that you take a break, so this next one might sound contradictory, but remember that different things work for different people!
If you’re struggling with writer’s block then one of the best things you can do is write! Maybe you can use the free writing technique, or maybe just push yourself to write so many words a day – as long as you write, write, write!
Even if you think it’s rubbish, it’s important to keep going! You can always scrap it later, or maybe it will turn into something good!
How do you overcome writer’s block?