I’ve heard the saying, “writer’s block does not exist.” I’ve heard that if you plan what you’re going to write, you’ll never encounter writer’s block. As a writer, I feel inclined to respectfully disagree. I don’t think that it is a mythical being that writers made up to excuse their laziness. There are some times that the writing just doesn’t seem to want to flow, ideas won’t come and you can’t find the right words. That is what I call writer’s block. However, writer’s block is not the end of the world. Here are five ways that I’ve learned work to overcome it.
1. Take a walk, get a change of scenery. It’s amazing how just one break in your routine can create a handful of different ideas. Inspiration is the act of being inspired, and sometimes it just takes a break in the monotony. When you get home, start writing what you saw, what you experienced, how you felt. It may just lead to what you’ve been looking for.
2. Create a schedule. Okay, I just said to take a beak in your routine, but in order to do this you must have a routine. If you train yourself to be inspired at certain times, you will find your production levels increasing. You’ll become more pleased with your time spent writing, than if you do it sporadically and expect your brain to switch over from one thing straight to writing. It needs some transition time, and if it knows that writing time comes after the kids go to bed, or in the morning before taking a shower, it will be more prepared to cooperate with you.
3. Take a different approach. Change perspectives, change your tone, change, try a different situation. Even if you trash everything you just wrote, it will at least give you some different perspectives, and it may inspire the perfect scenario. Writing something else is helpful in triggering thoughts and ideas for what you’re wanting to work on.
4. Eavesdrop. Okay, so your mother always told you that it was rude to eavesdrop, but it can really help. Sit somewhere public, such as your local Starbucks or the food court of the mall, and listen to conversations. Pick up different dialogue techniques and storylines. Create characters out of these strangers, even if they never leave your paper and make it into anything bigger. It will help with perspectives and realistic dialogue creation in the future.
5. Keep a journal. Write in it every day. Get in the habit of writing regularly. If you do, you’ll find that the words come with ease. You can use this journal for random dialogues, ideas, sentences, paragraphs, or anything that you want. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Writing shouldn’t be forced, but it’s also important to remember that perfecting things is what the second draft is for. Use the first one to get the information out, and then fix the errors you see in the second, or third draft. Most importantly, have fun with it. If you’re not having fun, it will be conveyed through the writing, and the reader will not have fun reading it.