Listen to the Podcast on 8 Strategies to Get Past Writer’s Block
Everyone Gets Stuck
Everyone gets stuck with their writing sometimes. Whatever you call it, I have 8 strategies to help you conquer “Writer’s Block” and reignite your muse.
If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this month, these strategies may come in very handy in conquering “Writer’s Block” and reigniting your muse. The ticking clock of 50K words in one month can be daunting and the pressure can sometimes stymie your momentum.
So, if you are you facing the infamous writer’s block during your NaNoWriMo adventure, and you need something to help reignite your creative muse, keep reading.
Is it Writer’s Block?
I don’t really believe in Writer’s Block, per se, but I do get stuck from time to time. Usually, that means I’ve gone off-track—or I haven’t planned enough or don’t know my story well enough. When that happens, I use one of these tactics to move past that stall.
Whether you call it Writer’s Block or something else, try one of my ideas to reignite your creative flame and keep your storytelling momentum alive.
8 Strategies/Tactics to Get Past Writer’s Block (or Get Unstuck)
1. Embrace the Chaos of Freewriting:
Allow your thoughts to spill onto the page without restraint. Disregard structure, grammar, or coherence. The goal is to let your mind roam freely, exploring untamed ideas. You’ll be surprised how this uninhibited approach can lead to unexpected breakthroughs in your story. You never know where it will lead you.
2. Time-Bound Writing Sprints:
The Pomodoro Technique really works! In other words—writing sprints. Set a timer for a short burst of focused writing, say 20 or 25 minutes. During this time, immerse yourself entirely in your narrative, disregarding the quality or editing. Short, intense bursts can often kickstart your creative flow.
I do this when I feel distracted by social media, chores, bills, kids, or whatever else is happening in my life. I set my phone timer, minimize everything except my project on my computer screen, and I write. It can be so effective!
3. Write out of order:
We can sometimes get stuck when we don’t know what to write next. As a work-around to that, I write out of order. My ability to do that only started for me when I switched from writing in Word or Pages to Scrivener. The structure of a project with the binder where I write in scenes rather than chronologically or linearly, really freed up my brain. Whatever word processing program you use, you can do this. If you’re stuck on a scene, put it aside and work on something else.
4. Change Your Writing Environment:
Shake things up by writing in a different setting. A change of scenery can stimulate fresh ideas. Whether it’s a cozy cafe, a park bench, or just another room in your house, a new environment can invigorate your creativity. I love to write on my deck in the backyard when the weather is nice. In fact, that’s where I’m recording this video!
5. Mindful Breaks and Physical Activity:
When the words refuse to cooperate, step away. Take a breather. Engage in physical activities, like a brisk walk, yoga, or a short workout. Exercise not only refreshes your mind but also nudges your brain toward new perspectives. I walk the dogs, listen to a podcast or an audio book, go to a yoga class, bake something…anything to get my mind off of my project, which allows my subconscious to work.
6. Create an Idea Repository:
If you’re feeling stuck in your current narrative, jot down new ideas or scenes that come to mind, even if they don’t fit into your current storyline. These could serve as a treasure trove of inspiration for future chapters or entirely new stories. I use a note on my phone app, which syncs to my computer. Easy peasy!
7. Dialogue with Your Characters:
Have a conversation with your characters. Explore their motivations, desires, and fears. Sometimes, reconnecting with the essence of your characters can reveal new pathways for your plot.
You can do this by writing a journal entry from their point of view, or throw them into a random scene you haven’t yet planned to see what happens.
You need to know how your characters will react in different situations. Writing some of those can help you know them better, and it could reveal a new idea, as well.
8. Use a Prompt
There are so many writing prompt books and websites with prompts. Use those to see if an idea sparks.
I can think of one particular time when that really worked for me. I wasn’t sure where to go in my story so I flipped open a prompt book I had that had one-line scenarios coupled with photos. One picture caught my eye…it was a collection of shoes lined up by a door.
Bam! Just like that, I had an idea. My villain would have shoes by his door and the protagonist would see them and put a few things together. It was perfect!
It’s Part of the Journey
Remember, writer’s block—or being stuck—is part of the journey. Use it as an opportunity to explore different angles, let your imagination roam, and challenge your creativity. Your story is waiting to be told—don’t let a temporary blockade dim your writer spark.
Stay determined, keep writing, and unleash your creativity. You’ve got this, NaNoWriMo warriors!
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