How do I deal with writer’s block?
Here are some of the ways I power through when I feel stuck:
Keep Writing. Even if I’m writing “I’m stuck. I don’t know what to write. My story is horrible. No one will want to read it.” I just keep writing. This works better with longhand, where I believe the movement of pen or pencil across paper can sometimes have the effect of jumpstarting your creativity.
Start in Another Place. I finally gave myself permission not to write my books chronologically and it’s really helped. If you are working on a scene but can’t wait to start writing a scene later in the book, go write the scene you are excited about. And also ask yourself why you aren’t excited about the current scene. No doubt there is something wrong with it. If you’re bored with it, your reader will be too.
Try Story Prompts and Writing Exercises. You can find these in many writing books. Many times writing something completely different from what you are working on can open the floodgates.
If you are spending long periods of time in frustration, you may want to switch stories/books/poems. Leave the current project alone for awhile and move on to something that inspires you.
Read the Writing of Others who are writing what you are writing and know that they had a horrible first draft and that it took many, many drafts (for most of them) to get the writing to where you are reading it at that moment. Absorb the words, the language, the rhythm, then go try to create some of your own.
Connect with Other Writers. If you write for adults, search the internet for organizations that have meetings or conferences and attend them. If you write for children, check out http://www.scbwi.org and find a chapter in your area. Then attend a meeting or a conference. You will find many people who share your joy and frustrations as a writer and it’s always nice to know you are not alone.
Join in the conversation about writer’s block below!