Welcome back to the second episode of Believe in Your Story where I share some of the writing challenges I’ve faced and how I’ve dealt with them. If you find this helpful, please hit the like button so I know to make more videos and subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss the next one. Today we’re going to talk about Writer’s Block.
There’s nothing more frustrating than writer’s block. You set time aside to work on your novel, you’re excited, inspired, but the words just won’t come out. Here are five things I do that help me push through writer’s block.
Tip #1: Go for a walk
When I’m deep in the throes of writing a novel, one of my favorite things to do is go for a walk. It’s good to separate yourself from distractions like games, social media, and dishes. It’s also good to move and get blood flowing to your brain. Personally, I listen to movie scores that set my mood and drown out traffic. Then I’ll play through the book or scene in my head like a movie. When I get an idea, I make a note in my phone. Sometimes that note is a full paragraph and I just stand there typing. Or talking into my phone when voice-to-text behaves
When I get back to writing, I’ll listen to the same music so I can capture that mood and run with it. Then I’ll work through those notes to flesh out my scene
Tip #2: Good Habits
I have a set morning routine that includes walking the dog, eating breakfast, showering and brushing my teeth. If I skip any of those the dog goes crazy, I get cranky, I smell funny and my teeth fall out. It’s important to approach writing the same way. Try to set time aside every day to write. The ideas flow better when my brain gets into a routine. If I’m still stuck, I’ll either write something else just to stay in practice, or I’ll skip ahead.
Tip #3 Skip Ahead
I often envision my chapters like scenes in a movie. Filmmakers don’t shoot scenes sequentially, and you don’t have to write them in order. Skip the chapter you’re struggling with and write one you’re excited about. Write one of the dramatic turning points in your book where everything falls apart. The first scene I write out of order is the ending. A part of me wants to wait and write it later. Like it’s a reward for finishing the marathon. But when I’m really stuck, it’s a great time to dive in. Not only do I get some words on paper, I have a definitive path to follow.
Tip #4 Change it up
I’m a night owl, and a late night schedule works for me, until it doesn’t. Sometimes, a change in habits shakes up my brain enough to kick start ideas I’m writing the script for this video in the morning. During healthier times, I’ll go heroically write at a coffee shop, or library.
There’s a certain energy being around people with my headphones in so I don’t have to listen to them. And I like my mochas.
Tip #5: Ask your characters
I was pacing my office because I didn’t know what two of my characters were going to do, so I asked them. No, they don’t actually answer, there are no voices in my head that I’m willing to talk about. But it makes a lot of sense to try and get in your character’s head and answer that simple question, “If this happened, what would you do?”
This has saved the day for me several times.
I’d love to know what works for you. Be sure to leave a comment below!