How I Work Through Writer's Block
Many writers know the struggle of staring at a blank page and having no clue what to write next. There is nothing worse than getting stuck in that writer's rut and not being able to climb your way out! Today I decided to share a few of the ways that I manage and overcome writer's block.
I am always adding to my notes app on my phone. Whether that's a scene idea, a line for a poem, a character, or a plot idea. I try to keep this pretty organized by separating the pages. So, a Poetry notes page for the poems, a Character notes page for the character ideas, and so on. That way; if I don't know where to take a story, I can open up my notes to spark inspiration. This has definitely saved me countless of times. Plus having it on my phone is great because you never know when inspiration will strike you.
Keep A Journal
I know everyone says this, but it works! I try to journal at least once a week. Whether that be venting, writing a new poem, or spending time creating a scene I have on my mind. This helps for many reasons. If I'm writing a poem about an instance in my life, I can refer to a journal entry from that time to refresh my memory. For the scenes, it's very similar to my mobile notes. If I'm working on a novel and I don't know where to take it, I can look back to my notes where I wrote scene ideas to get inspired.
I try to keep these pretty separate as well so things are easy to find in the future. That means I have a separate journal for venting, poetry, and scenes. Sticking to this routine stimulates the brain and improves your writing technique. So it is a great exercise if you find yourself getting stuck often!
Take A Break
I know taking a break when you're trying to get work done sounds counterproductive, but it can help. Staying in the same spot, stressed, for a long period of time is not beneficial. Even if you do come up with an idea, it likely isn't going to be your best work and you'll end up going back to it again later. If you find yourself stuck at a specific point in your writing, take a break. Now when I say break, I don't mean procrastinate. Get up, eat, drink water, and try to journal about something completely irrelevant to your book. Don't think about it at all for 10 or 20 minutes, refresh your mind and take time to stretch and relax. When you come back to your work, you will feel better. You'll have a clear mind, and you'll be more equipped to continue writing than you were 20 minutes prior.
Miracles & Disasters
One thing that I like to do when I get stuck mid-story, is try a little game I came up with called Miracles & Disasters. The game, if nothing else, is a fun way to at least narrow down what doesn't work for the plot. Here's how it works. Copy as much of the writing you need onto a new document (I usually do a page or entirety of the scene I'm stuck on). Then I will continue writing the story in the best outcome I can imagine for my characters. For example; the MC is trying to find a sacred cave, and in these scenes they find a clue that leads to it. I would then do the same with the worst thing that could happen, like the MC losing their companion. Sometimes this game works, sometimes it doesn't. But the point is to get you to continue writing something about your book. Whether it works or not, don't get rid of the document! I like to save it as an area for future M & D games with other scenes so I have them all in one space. It's also a good reference to keep for in the future when you may need some of those scenes added into the book. For example; say the miracle I mentioned earlier happened way too early in the timeline for it to work. If the scene you wrote still fit the story, you can add later when it fit the timeline much better.
I hope some of these tactics that I use myself help you next time you hit writer's block! I'd love to hear about your own little tips and tricks if this worked out for you! So if you like, share this blog post with how it's worked for you!
Hunter J Morgan