Thursday, June 10, 2010

Writer's Block...share a tip!


We all have moments where the words just won’t come. The stress in our life, the deadline that’s looming, winter blues. Or in my case, summer and kids. Whatever the reason, we freeze up when we look at that blank document. Terror fills us. Suddenly, horrible thoughts start to bombard our bodies and minds. I’m a hack. I should hang up my pen. I can’t write my way out of a paper bag.

These are a few tips I've used.
1. An hour a day. If you work a full time job and the only time you have to write is at lunch or when the kids go to bed, then this is harder for you. Still, make yourself sit down and write. If the WIP isn’t working out—and it probably isn’t since we’re talking about writer’s block, lol—then switch to another project. Browse your mind and work up a new idea for a future book. Churn out some poetry. Write in your journal. Whatever, the key is to keep the creative juices flowing. 500 words or so, set a minimum for yourself. For some, that’s all it takes to break through that wall and get that WIP completed.

2. Read a good book. I do this all the time and I swear it helps keep me motivated. Whenever I’m feeling tied in knots, my mind is just a blank slate and there’s no chalk to be found, I pick up a book by one of my favorite authors and step away from the computer. I give myself over to their world for a little while. Even if it’s just for a few hours it refreshes me and I feel like I can dive into the annoying WIP again.

3. Exercise. When I’m on the treadmill or elliptical my mind tends to stray to the story I’m currently working on. There’s something about working up a sweat that helps clear my mind. It doesn’t always work, but quite often I’ll find myself mentally working on that next scene, the one that wouldn’t come before. Plus, you’ve burned off some of that damn chocolate. LOL

4. Grab a writing buddy. I don’t know why this works exactly. The competition maybe? Or is it simply that connection? Writers collaborating, chatting over ideas and getting the wheels turning. It’s sort of like exercising with a friend, I think. While you might slack off through the hard part if you were alone, having that friend there makes you want to ‘keep up’ as it were.

5. Take a walk down memory lane. One of the things that happens whenever I get blocked is I start to think really negative things about my own work. I start wondering why I ever got published to start with. Who do I think I am? Me, a writer? Yeah right! To keep those horrible thoughts from destroying my muse entirely, I go to my ‘good feedback’ folder. This is where I keep all the acceptance letters, good reviews, positive reader feedback, etc. I carefully sift through those various items and build my self-esteem back up, one small brick at a time. Soon, the wall is sturdy again and I can open that document and make another attempt at creating.
So, what’s your MO for murdering writer’s block? Do you have something specific that works for you? A method that helps keep you motivated? Tell the rest of us! Please!
and of course a few hunks to drool over! *g*



Now here's a guy that can wear pink and still look manly


Nice...towel

18 comments:

BrennaLyons said...

I wrote an article on this subject back in 2006. If you're interested in perusing...

http://brennalyonsden.blogspot.com/2007/06/repost-7292006-writers-block.html

Brenna

BrennaLyons said...

Okay...this thing doesn't like me today. Sigh... Hope this doesn't show twice.

I wrote an article on the subject back in 2006. If you're interested in perusing...

http://brennalyonsden.blogspot.com/2007/06/repost-7292006-writers-block.html

Brenna

P.A.Brown said...

I find taking a walk can clear a block. Or reading something unrelated to what I'm writing. I'll go to the library and browse through their magazine section and flip through a few. It seems to get the mind firing again.

Laurann Dohner said...

I am always working on multi WIP's so if I get hung up on one... I can jump into another one. That keeps me always writing. Sometimes when I'm in a mood...this really helps because say someone cut me off in traffic or I'm just having a crappy day...that fight scene I have to write...BINGO! Soooo there. Or if I'm bummed out...I can write that sad background history a character has.

Madison Scott said...

Just keep plugging along. Crap can be fixed. That's what my editor always tells me. Also, I try to write something else. Sometimes it will spark me.

Tawny Taylor said...

I write another scene further into the story. It may be a scene I'd planned to go into the story (like a sex scene or the very last scene in the book). Or it might be a scene I didn't plan (something in back story). But I find that will generally relieve the block.

Anne Rainey said...

Brenna--Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. :)

Anne Rainey said...

P. A.--I'll have to try the walking thing. We live out in the country so I could do that in the morning and get the juices flowing! :)

Anne Rainey said...

Laurann--I'm a 'mood' writer too. If I've just had an argument with the hubby, I'm not going to be able to write a smokin' sex scene! LOL

Anne Rainey said...

Madison--I sort of did that yesterday. I was having trouble so I switched gears and wrote blurbs for two stories I'm going to write. It helped! :)

Anne Rainey said...

Tawny--I've never done that before! That's a new idea. I'm definitely going to give that a shot the next time I'm going blank! :)

Kit Lewis said...

Music! I put together a playlist of songs that fit my character or the scene I'm trying to write. Sometimes just putting it together is enough to give me ideas, and listening to it almost always gets me back in the mood to write what I need to.

Anne Rainey said...

Kit--What a great idea! I'll have to try that. I usually don't listen to music while I write, but I do listen to it before. And usually something along thie lines of Nickelback. Gets me in the groove. LOL

Carolan Ivey said...

Do something that scares the crap out of you. [grin]

For instance, I went to a shooting range and learned to fire a 9mm Beretta. Frightening and exhilarating at the same time!

This summer I'm going to learn to ride a motorcycle. White knuckles, here I come!

Shelley Munro said...

I normally go for a walk or a bike ride to clear the cobwebs. Sometimes, like Laurann, I'll swap to another WIP and that works. If I know deep down that I'm really just goofing, I'll set the egg timer and make myself sit down and write and not move from my chair for a certain length of time - usually half-hour spurts - and that works too. Sometimes you just have to be tough on yourself!

Anne Rainey said...

Carolan-I'm seriously jealous of you right now! I wish I were the adventurous type! :)

Shelley--Good idea with the timer. I DO have a problem with self-discipline. Forcing myself to write is tough. A timer...hmm, I like it. Thanks for the idea! :)

Charisma Knight said...

Mmm Mmm good, Mmm Mmm Good!! Digging the hottie with the tats!!!

cindystubbs said...

Cure for writer's block I think is poetry. As a writer we all love language, and using it in a different way like that really inspires you. Of course, there is no market for poetry (except other poets of course and maybe a few others) I wrote, "I know, rejection feels like home" and I started to think how a person could court, even cause rejection because they feel that is where they belong. It "feels like home." Just a thought...