So for the last few weeks I have been dealing with a severe case of writer’s block. Lately I feel like nothing I have been writing is going anywhere. Sometimes I want to give up, but writing is a vital part of life for me, so that is not an option. I feel like I am finally getting back on track now by helping my friends edit some of their stories and essays, and reading a few new books. I love writing, but I will be the first to admit that sometimes it can be stressful. For me, this has been my longest period of writer’s block. In this post I am going to share a few tips that have gotten me through the past few weeks.
Free writing is nothing new. You just type or write for ten to fifteen minutes about anything you want, and the best part is that you do not have to worry about grammar. I, like many other writers, suggest you free write at least once a day. However, it can be a great resource to turn to during times of writer’s block. Several people have told me that they can’t stand to free write because they find it hard to think of a prompt under a time limit. If you are one of those people, I suggest you find one item in your house a day to write about. That way you do not have to worry about thinking of something to write about. I have also had a few people tell me they do not like free writing because it is boring. I agree that I do not write my most exciting material while free writing, but I have had several great stories stem from free writes.
Listing is similar to free writing, but I think it is a bit easier. Listing is pretty much how it sounds: you simply make a list of your ideas. When I list, I make note of names, settings, animals, and anything else that may pop into my head. I do not recommend listing on your computer because you may not always have your computer as soon as an idea pops into your head. I like to carry a notebook or notepad around with me so I can write down ideas as soon as I think of them; that way I won’t forget them. Sometimes when I do not have my notebook I will text ideas to myself.
Reading is another great way to get over writer’s block. As with free writing, reading is something that should be a staple in every writer’s life. When you read, you will not only come up with more ideas, but you will also pick up on other writing styles. This will improve your own writing style. If you do not want to read another book at the moment you can find a few short stories to read, or you can even reread a few of your favorite chapters from some of your favorite books. I, for one, reread my Harry Potter books all the time!
Sometimes the best thing to do is take a deep breath and think about what you are doing. Meditating will help you put aside any stress and help you think more clearly. When I say meditate, I do not necessarily mean to sit with your legs crossed for an hour. Meditating is something that will help you think. For some people, exercise is the best meditation. For others it is finding complete silence. For me it is long walks in the park or anywhere there is nature. There may be others who disagree with my definition of meditating but as long as it clears your mind, I do not think it matters.
This is my advice to you: even in dry spells, keep writing. I know it can be depressing when it feels like a story isn’t going anywhere, but do not give up. Sometimes the stories you feel are not going anywhere end up being the best. So free write, read, think, send yourself text messages; do whatever it takes. I love to write too much to give it up! It is embedded in my blood by now. For me, this blog has been a lifesaver in these past few weeks. It has helped encourage me to write even in my lowest days. So if you think you are up to it, start a blog; it helps!
Have any of these tips helped you? Do you have advice of your own? Either way I would love to hear from you! So leave me a comment and remember to check back every other Wednesday for another post!