5 tips to combat writer's block

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

Writer’s block is the affliction of authors unable to proceed with writing, or struggling to write something new. I have heard about it but not experienced it myself. When I can't think what to write here are five things that get me scribbling away.

I never wait until I can write the perfect chapter, paragraph or scene. I just get anything down that comes into my head. I don't edit or censor it, I just get it on paper or on computer screen. It is easier to edit something than to stare at a blank sheet!

Sometimes if I feel stuck I flesh out one of my characters. Each of them has a profile sheet and I think about their back story; previous jobs, personality traits, relationships, emotional intelligence. In fact anything to make them more real. It does help to get those creative juices flowing.

I often make notes about everyday things I have observed or overheard, the odder the better. They have triggered scenes or whole chapters for me and taken the story in unexpected directions. I have used snippets of overheard conversations, a billboard and a TV commercial as inspiration.

I am also a collector of strange headlines. They can be a great starting point for a scene. Here are a few genuine headlines I have collected:

Homeless man under house arrest

Fisherman arrested for using wife as shark bait

Man crashes a van full of dead badgers into a bus stop

Marijuana issue sent to a joint committee

Scientists cull ducks to discover why they are dying

I am a visual thinker (I think in pictures) and I find non-writing activities quite stimulating. A visit to a gallery (even online), doodling, listening to some evocative music, watching a YouTube video or podcast that makes me laugh often gives me new ideas.

I hope these are useful but there are also some great plotting tools available on the internet that can give you ideas and change your point of view so if you feel 'blocked' use some of those to shake things up a bit. or

I don't think there is a magic bullet for dealing with writers block so just get down on paper what you can and remember, there is always tomorrow!

#writersblock #tips #organize

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