Writer’s block & how to get rid of it πŸ–‹

What’s more frustrating for a writer than to be unable to write a single thing ? You want to write, but nothing comes. You stare at your computer screen, type a million beginnings of a sentence only to delete it right away.

I feel you, I’ve been going through this not a long time ago. I’m working on my next book, a short stories collection, and I thought I would be able to include old stories I had written years ago. I tried to define a clear outline for the book, gathered all the stories I wanted to develop or rewrite in a single document, and thought it would be easy to piece all of this together. I was so wrong. I didn’t manage to write a thing for weeks. I would just go back to the file, add new ideas for the title, think about which other old story I could add, add it and… I was not writing. I felt stuck. And worse than everything, I didn’t enjoy working on this project anymore.

So how did I get out of this writer’s block ? Check the tip #3 !

I’ve prepared 7 tips for you today, things you can try when you feel stuck and unable to go on. These are things that worked for me, so I hope it will help some of you as well.

#1 : Let it rest, then come back to it. Go out, do stuff, oxygenate your brain. It might sound silly because it’s pretty simple, but honestly it works pretty well. Sometimes we are so tensed, and so focused on our work, we’re so desperate to make it work, to finish it etc that we can’t see anything else and let’s be honest, it’s a pretty toxic behaviour that most writers are guilty of. On some days I can spend hours just writing without a break, and it’s great but I can’t expect my brain and body to do this every single day, right ? Your body needs action, your brain needs variety to be stimulated, you need to feel and experience different things in other to trigger your inspiration. So please don’t forget to enjoy life, go outside if you can, watch a tv series, anything that will make you relax. Then you can go back to your writing later.

#2 : Create your own writing routine. I already wrote an article about how to design your writing routine, so I highly recommend you read it (-> the link). It’s very important to take things slowly, start with the basics and get your brain used to write on a regular basis. This is what a writing routine will achieve. While I was having my writer’s block on my short stories collection, it didn’t mean that I had stopped writing altogether. No I kept my writing routine, it’s just that I was writing fanfiction on the side hahaha.

#3 : Brainstorming. Do you have a blackboard/whiteboard somewhere ? If not just take some paper and pens and let your creativity run wild ! Express yourself ! I love brainstorming. This is what took me out of my writer’s block regarding my short stories collection. I put at the center of my whiteboard 5 keywords who were defining at that stage the book. And from that, I linked these words to everything that came to mind. I used different colors, underlined some things, circled some other things… And in the end, a new outline for the book came out. Things I didn’t think about before. And somehow the title became obvious. A few ideas for stories came rushing. It was so satisfying to feel like finally, yes, this was what I wanted for this book. So yes, brainstorming. Amazing thing that can bring out things you would have never wrote in your regular Word document. It helps you articulate your thoughts in a different way. You can draw, put arrows everywhere, link 2 or 10 things together, the possibilities are infinite.

#4 : Work on your WIP (Work In Progress) in another way. Stuck with writing ? It’s okay, you can work on something else related to your writing. Character development, family tree, searching for pictures which will help for your descriptions (places, characters, houses, whatever)… You can also try to start a book trailer, these are very trendy these days, or you can just have a little bit of fun on Canva and make a few book covers. It can give you new ideas and a new need to write, and if not, at least you’re not wasting your time, you’re still working on your book !

#5 : Read. We easily forget that in order to write, we have to read. Creativity needs to be stimulated and what better way than to see what other writers are doing. Even in a very old book, you could trigger your inspiration. Find an idea, a concept that catches your attention. A story line you would have written differently. Reading keeps us curious, keeps our minds open and it also improves our vocabulary, grammar, syntax etc.

#6 : Create a playlist. I know that some writers hate to write with music in the background, but for the others : it can be such a great help. Struggling with writing a scene ? Make a little playlist according to the mood of the scene ! Worried that you may be distracted by the lyrics ? Find songs in different languages or just put the songs’ instrumental in the playlist instead ! A playlist will allow you a total immersion into the mood and atmosphere of what you’re writing.

#7 : A little bit of selfcare goes a long way. When you’re struggling with your writing, instead of pressuring yourself even more and feeling guilty, try to understand what your body is trying to tell you. What do you need ? What would make you feel better ? A mug of your favorite drink ? Did you eat well today ? Did you move your body a bit ? As writers, I don’t know for you, but I get easily obsessed when I write. My mouth would feel dry but I would not care. My body would feel hungry but I would be like “no I need to finish this first”. If you’re like me, try to gather snacks and drinks before starting a writing session, so you can easily take little pleasant breaks. Try to take better care of your body. Your brain will thank you.

What about you ? Do you have things you usually do when you’re facing a writer’s block ? Did any of these tips help you ? Are you going to try some ? Let me know !

As always you’ll be find below my Youtube video linked to the subject.

Thank you for reading, and see you next week !

Marie.

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