Top Ten Ways to Cure Writer’s Block
Top Ten Cures for Writer’s Block (Or procrastination)
Does writer’s block exist? Some writers say yes, others no. Some say it’s another thing called procrastination. Whatever you believe, at some point or other, they might come a point where you’re stuck at a point in the story, or with a character or plot.
I used to get writer’s block/procrastination before I started setting a word count for the day and no stopping until I reached it. I used to get stuck when I didn’t have some idea of where the story and characters were headed. A few of the methods below helped me make sure I wrote every day. They might not all work for everyone. Only one of them might work. There are as many different writers as there are books, so it makes sense there’d be as many different ways to overcome writer’s block/procrastination…
1- Set a word count and stick to it
I took Stephen King’s advice and set myself a word count of 2000 words a day. I sometimes write more, but don’t let myself write less. The routine makes it feel more like a job, or work—and people have to go to work every day, so I have to write every day. It took some getting used to, but four years on and it’s still working.
2- Read a book
Reading a book can help get your head in the game. If it’s a good book it might inspire you to write your own good book. Or it could loosen your brain up and start the cogs moving. A different genre to what you’re reading can work, because you might not feel stuck with focusing on just one thing.
3- Watch a movie
Lord of the Rings usually works for me, particularly if I’m writing fantasy. Like reading, watching will start your imagination working—give it fuel.
4- Listen to music/movie soundtrack
This works for a lot of people. I haven’t tried it, but the Lord of the Rings soundtracks in the movies is pretty inspiring.
5- Write something different
It might not be your fault you don’t know what to write next; it might be the story’s. If you’re not invested in the idea/plot/characters enough a change could help. Write in a different genre or person or tense. Write a short story or piece of flash fiction. Focusing on something else could get you back in the mood for the story you’re not sure what to do with.
6- Step back
Just don’t do… anything. Leave the story/writing alone, step away from it. Having a break after finishing a story and before editing works, so it makes sense that having a break to clear your head while writing should work. Just don’t leave it too long, or you might lose enthusiasm altogether.
7- Edit instead
Going back over what you’ve written before could help remind you of why you started writing this story or about a set of characters in the first place. You might spot a sentence of paragraph you’re proud of and it could urge you to want to write more like it.
8- Have a plan
This is another method that I use. Knowing where I’m going makes sure I don’t get stuck a few chapters in. It doesn’t have to be a detailed plan, but thinking a few chapters ahead before you write will make sure you have enough fuel/incentive. I’ve heard of some people writing a synopsis for the story before they start writing the real thing. It might not work for everyone, but if you plan on trying to get it published or sign with an agent at some point at least you’ll have a synopsis ready.
9- Keep writing
It might take every scrap of will power, but just pushing on can work. Not letting yourself stop, even if what you’re writing is BS. Eventually, you might hit a point where you find inspiration and carry on from there.
10- Don’t go on the internet
Unplug your Wi-Fi if you have to, but keeping away from the net makes sure you have fewer distractions.