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My Best 4 Tips For Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is one of those things that most authors and writers deal with, whether you write short stories, novels, or screenplays. It’s something that can be draining and irritating and if you have deadlines, even if they’re just your own, writer’s block makes everything so much worse.

Here are the ways I overcome my writer’s block. They’re nothing particularly new and exciting, but maybe someone will find they work for them too.

1. Just Write

The most common advice I’ve found is to just write. Write anyway. Write whatever you feel like even it’s it’s just a string of I don’t knows’. This especially works if you are stuck in the perfectionist way of thinking that your writing isn’t ‘good enough’.

Writing anyway might be to continue with an idea you weren’t sure on, or using a prompt from a generator or blog, or even coming up with your own. Sometimes coming up with your own prompt helps to get the creativity flowing and you find yourself with more ideas than you know what to do with.

Sometimes you write enough that you have a good idea, or you figure out what you wanted to do with a different idea. And sometimes it’s not good, sometimes it’s terrible writing filled with typos and ridiculous ideas that don’t make sense. But before you banish it to the trash folder, see if there’s a cool line you want to reuse, or an idea you know could work way better with something else. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve deleted these terrible ideas only to look for them months (or sometimes years) later because there was one part I anted to reuse.

Sometimes you need to dig and push through all the terrible drivel to find the good stuff.

2. Find Inspiration

When you feel burnt out and completely empty of ideas, lack of inspiration can usually be pointed to as the cause for writer’s block. I usually use this time to relax, take a step back from whatever I’m working on, and look for some inspiration.

My favourite way of gaining inspiration is music. Music can be a lot of things and conveys so many different emotions. I find it hard to not be inspired by some songs, so many tell stories it’s easy to write a short piece and then suddenly you’re ready to continue on with what you’re doing.

Music helps me in other ways too, if I need inspiration for angst, I’ll listen to some emo music, and if I need to write feel-good, I listen to a lot of pop. Sometimes I like to pick a song and write a story around it. My favourites for this are Taylor Swift and Hozier songs, I adore their lyrics and even just one or two lines can spawn a whole idea.

3. Timed Sprints

I discovered timed sprints while watching Kata Cavanaugh. Check out her Youtube here, or have a look at my post which includes her here. The pressure of having a timer count down your writing time can help to kick your brain into action. Sometimes not much gets done and sometimes a lot gets done. The most important thing is that there is usually something which is better than nothing.

It’s also commonly done as the Pomodoro Technique, though that tends to be 25 minutes of focus and 5 minute breaks. Personally, I find 25 minutes of pure writing slightly too long and 5 minutes of break slightly too short. My best is 20 minutes of work with ten minute breaks in between.

Lots of Youtubers and Twitch streamers in the writing communities live stream sprints too. Some even let the chat suggest the length of sprints. Usually the breaks between sprints are longer than you might give yourself but the community aspect can also be really helpful.

4. If All Else Fails, Sleep Off The Writer’s Block

Sleep is a wonderful thing. If you’ve been busy and stressed, whether about your work or life or just your writing being difficult, sleep on it.

If you’ve written yourself into a corner, or just can’t figure out just what it is that is wrong with your writing, stop. Stop, go to bed, and try again the next day.

I find that if the brain works too hard at something, it tires itself out. I’ve come back to writing after leaving it for a night and realised what it is that needs fixing. It could take a night or two to fix the block. It might even take longer, but the brain subconsciously tries to solve the problem.

A Short Conclusion

Hopefully these tips work for you. There are countless ways to overcome the dreaded writer’s block, but these are methods that work the best for me.

To end off, here’s a very applicable quote from one of my favourite authors:

“Anything you write can be fixed, but you can’t fix a blank page.”

Neil Gaiman

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