Writer’s Block is defined in the dictionary as: the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. When it comes, it seems like a mental brick wall that prevents one from putting words onto the page. Nevertheless, through pain and struggles writers can get around or climb over this figurative wall and below are the top five ways on how to beat Writer’s Block.
Just Write, Even If The Words Won’t Be Kept
The first of the top five ways on how to beat Writer’s Block is accept than when you are having a torrid day, writing-wise, simply continue to write. Often on these days, the words you write may be of little use. But at least you will have something to work with the next day.
Don’t get me wrong, the next day you will probably edit the overwhelming majority of these words (or delete them in their entirety). But having something to work with is significantly easier than having nothing to work with. Consequently, the next day will (almost certainly) be more productive, which is always positive and can will help your keep your spirits up.
Go For A Walk
The first way is a tactic. And like all tactics, it can fail. If it does, you should try another one: go for a walk.
Sometimes writers cannot articulate their thoughts onto the page because their mind resembles a room tipped upside down. And it is amazing (in the true sense of the word) what a 20- or 30-minute walk can do for the mind: it can relax it and even clear it of clutter. Thus, when writers get back to their desks, they may find that the words flow again as if they had not been standing before a cul-de-sac beforehand.
Talk To A Family Member Or Friend
If writers do not want to go for a walk (because it’s raining or because it’s too cold), they should still take their eyes away from the screen. Only, this time they should talk to a family member or a friend.
Hopefully, writers know someone who has a positive outlook or can make them laugh. Again, it is amazing what a stimulating conversation or a good laugh can do to change one’s mood. Then, when you returns to your desk after the conversation, you will likely find that the mental block that had been preventing you from writing earlier has (magically) been removed.
Moreover, something that a family member or friends says could inspire you and trigger your mind, to write a brilliant scene.
Go Back To Planning
The fourth of the top five ways on how to beat Writer’s Block is to go back to the planning (particularly if the walk or the conversation with a friend/family member still results in them being unable to break through that mental brick wall). Sometimes, the reason for why writers cannot write down a scene is because they have not thought through the scene as well as they had initially thought. As a result, they need to plan the scene better, even to the point of planning it almost line by line, so as to put the words onto the page.
This may sound like having to write out the scene twice, but it’s not. When writers initially plan their story, they may plan it in bullet points (as I did). Therefore, when writers write in bullet points they do not consider all the intricate details or the peripheral aspects of the scene that must be included when actually writing the scene for the novel.
Planning a scene line by line can take time. However, after plannng a scene down to the finest details, writers will have an easier time writing out the scene for real. From personal experience, I found this to be particularly the case when writing battles.
Go To Bed And Go At Writing Again The Next Day
The last of the top five ways on how to beat Writer’s Block is to go to be and have another go at writing the next day. Writers should not take this suggestion to mean giving up just because they are having a bad day/night writing. Make no mistake, writing is hard; at times, I feel like I am breaking my teeth typing coherent sentences. But we must all push on (through metaphorical walls if necessary), otherwise our novels will never get written.
Nevertheless, if writers have tried and tried and tried to write for hours, they must know when the jig is up. Writers must stop writing for the night, go to bed, and try again the next day if:
- None of the previous mentioned tactics have made the words flow onto the page;
- Whatever writers write is undoing previously good work; and/or
- Writers’ eyelids are drooping from exhaustion.
It is not a crime to tell oneself that the figurative wall is impassable on any given day or night. The crime is not to try and break, go around or scale that wall again the next day. With the right attitude and time, writers will get past this wall and beat Writer’s Block.
Questions For The Reader
Thank you very much for reading my blog piece. I hope my tips can help you beat Writer’s Block and make the writing journey more enjoyable for you.
Tell me, have I missed something out? What do you do when you experience an impasse while writing?
Please leave your answers in the comments below and I will get back to you as soon as possible,
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Furthermore, if you would like another perspective on how to beat writer’s block, check out author TL Clark’s article.