Thursday, October 27, 2011

Writer's Block


A lot of people have asked me lately if I have any tips to help beat writer's block. Because, seriously, being trapped in your own writing, with a tiny view of the story ahead, is miserable! Sort of like being all dressed up with nowhere to go. Or being stuck in a fortress with the most amazing forest just around the corner . . . and you can almost see it! So here are a few tips.

First of all, if you're not clear on your vision, how are you going to write it? And I'm NOT talking about the ending of the story. Just the next three, five, ten pages. No more. Because if you can decide where your story needs to go in the next few pages, then you can sit down and write it. Baby steps people!

Another tip that works for me: get your ipod, download music that fits your story, and then go on a nice long walk. Even if it's on the treadmill. If you're like me, the story will start to flow.

Also, maybe you just need a little break to give your story time to grow, ferment, germinate. I thoroughly believe writing is like cheese. The longer it has to sit and ripen, the stronger it becomes.

Spend time every day on the computer. WRITING, mind you, not playing on facebook or bejeweled blitz. Even if all you're writing is blog posts. Or character bios. Just get in the habit.

Lastly, if all else fails, just write the darn story! Force it out, one-thousand words a day. Don't worry about typos, plot, prose, because all of those can be fixed. That's the beauty of writing--you can change anything and everything. It just has to be written first.

Now, if you still need some inspiration, go here and here. Best of writing luck!

16 comments:

Sarah Darlington said...

Great post! It's hard to get on the computer sometimes and not blog or facebook or do other things. Sometimes my internet goes out and it forces me to work. :)

Nisa said...

Great tips! I find that just laying in bed and daydreaming helps to brighten up the next steps. If I can play it out in my mind like I'm watching a movie or a play, I can see it well enough to write it out. And daydreaming is fun. :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Excellent post, Bethany!!! :-)

Angie said...

You're so right about knowing where you're going. Writing goes much better if I have at least a small idea of what happens next. I find just laying down for a nap and daydreaming about it helps me a lot. And, yeah. Sometimes you just have to force it.

B.J. Anderson said...

No bejeweled? Bummer. :D Hehe.

I don't know why it works for me, but washing dishes always makes me think of lots of good ideas. So weird, I KNOW.

JEM said...

Great comments, and beautiful pictures. The long walk always gets my writer brain going, but I find my best moments of inspiration in the shower. I think it's the only place I'm ever truly alone enough with my own thoughts.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great tips! Walking and letting my subconscious work on it usually work best for me :)

G said...

I actually found that deactivating myself on Facebook was the key component of getting my writing back into gear.

Even after I had switched projects, I still had the problem o not writing anything. I even had problems writing blog posts.

But it's been a month since I'd stopped Facebook and the words are flowing just fine once again.

Accidentalwriter said...

For me, I write when the words present themselves. This is probably why I am so grateful that I don't rely on writing for an income. If I felt like I was manufacturing lines or engineering phrases; the whole romance of the experience would be extinguished.
I fear not writer's block as I am a servant of the words and very thankful they are my master. It may sound a bit trite - however, let the words be your guide and the path will be clear. Best wishes.

Jo Schaffer said...

Awesome, girl! (= Great reminders.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

This is why NaNo has been really good for me so far. I have this pretty short goal for each day and I have to sit down and write. I've never been a write-everyday sort of person. Usually I just write when the mood hits me and when I feel like I have "time." But I think this is developing a discipline that I like. I definitely don't know where my plot is going, exactly, but I do know the next few pages, so that's great advice to keep me going!

Thanks, Bethany!

Amy

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Aguilar Elliot said...

thanks for sharing your process of overcoming writers block.

Jo Schaffer said...

I totally use music too. And sometimes just talking with my writing group about my story and characters sparks something. (=

pharmacy said...

I'm a writer too but there's a lot of different writes and also different people, not all people like the same kind of writing, so i guess if someone wants to write, just write something and some people will like it and some will not, good luck.

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