We’ve all heard the term “writer’s block.” In the industry, it means an author is having a creative block. Many authors, myself included, feel that this word is just a label, a cover or excuse to explain an author’s lack of progress in writing.
Whether you believe that’s true or not, writer’s do experience times when the words just don’t flow. Usually, it’s because their minds and hearts are not truly into their work at that time. Perhaps they are being distracted by people in the home, or friends on social media. Maybe they are feeling “obligated” to write because it’s their livelihood.
Regardless of the term, the reason, the excuse, or the cause…
Here are 5 things to do when you hit a creative wall:
1. Get up and move around. Do some breathing exercises or yoga. Take a walk and connect with nature—it can be inspiring. When you come back, you might be surprised how quickly the words begin flowing again.
2. Take a break and read a book by a fellow author. This can give you ideas for story lines or characters, help you become better at spotting grammar issues, and often rejuvenate your mood.
3. Start writing a different story. If you are “stuck” on a certain plot or character-development issue, try changing your focus to a new story line. You can always come back to the previous one if inspiration hits you. I truly believe that timing is a huge factor in the success of books. Some stories aren’t meant to be completed yet.
4. Print your story out then let it sit for a few days. Come back and read it as if it’s the first time. It’s amazing how many grammatical and story development errors jump out at you in print. Also, it gives you a chance to check for proper “flow” of your story.
5. If you can’t quite get yourself to commit to writing a novel, try writing something short and fun—like a poem, song, or short play. Challenging yourself to different styles of writing can open up a whole new level of creativity for you.
If you still can’t quite focus on your novel, or the words just aren’t flowing … take a break and go do something relaxing and fun–completely unrelated to writing–such as lunch with a friend, taking a bubble bath, hitting the gym, or even taking a nap. Don’t rush the creative process. The story will come to you when the timing is right!
How do YOU deal with “writer’s block”? Share your tips with us!