I’ve met lots of authors who don’t believe in writer’s block per se, but I’m yet to meet one for whom the writing flows easily all the time.
There is no magic cure for the times the words are difficult to produce, and there’s no one-cure-fits-all, either. Everyone has their own strategies. And those strategies may change project by project, day by day, or even by the hour.
What helps today, might not be so useful tomorrow, so it’s handy to have a range of techniques in your tool bag. Try new things, re-try old things. All I can say is; best of luck, I hope it works out.
I have a good list of strategies that I try. Some of them seem to work more consistently than others, but it’s always worth giving them a go.
- Introduce a new character: a new character offers the chance for a fresh injection of energy, or a new twist in the story, or a new chance for conflict. Even if that character doesn’t survive the editing stage, it can get you your momentum back.
- Write something else: I often find that having several different projects that I can switch between helps to keep the words flowing, especially if they’re very different to one another. You could try writing a blog post, or journaling, or writing a letter to a friend.
- Do something else creative (not writing): this can give your mind a break, or a chance to think in a different way, without interrupting your creative streak. Drawing, colouring, crafting, music, whatever you like to do. Or, try something completely new!
- Do something physical or practical: switch from thinking to doing. No kidding; around 90% of my writing problems are solved while I’m doing the washing up!
- Switch from laptop to handwriting (or vice versa): I always find that changing my writing medium helps to free my brain up, and lets me look at the story in a different way.
- Get out in nature: go for a walk, a run, or a hike. Talk to trees, to flowers, to birds. Breathe fresh air. Lie in grass. Watch the clouds.
- Cuddle an animal: need I say more? (Of course, always ask first!)
- Brainstorm with a friend: you don’t have to suffer alone. Ask for help.
- Go out for coffee (and maybe cake too): I’m a great believer that there is barely a single problem that can’t be solved over coffee and cake. And, hey, even if you don’t solve it, at least you had coffee and cake!
- Listen to/watch/read something that inspires you: I have an arsenal of writing podcasts, and much-loved movies that often leave me feeling inspired to write. I also have a very carefully selected playlist of songs I like to write to.
- Find a writing prompt: whether you write something that ends up languishing in a desk drawer forever, or write something that turns into a bestselling novel, just write freely, and see what comes out.
- Just push through and keep writing, no matter how slow-going: sometimes the only thing to do is to live with the pain of creating. You’ll come out the other side of it sooner or later. Probably.