Friday, February 13, 2015

Conquering Writer's Block

Writer's block. Those two words send shivers down a writer's spine. You know that moment when your plotting just starts to run thin... When the characters start to get dull... When writing becomes a chore instead of something we enjoy... We've all had it, we're all going to have it, so how do we conquer it?

1. If you're bored, the reader probably is too. Probably not what you expected to hear, but sometimes the only way to cure writer's block is to scratch what you have and start over. Doing this helps rejuvenate your mind's creative energy and gives you a clean slate to build off of.

2. Read a book or watch a movie. This is a pretty simple idea that always seems to help me when I'm having writing troubles. Just going to the theater, kicking back, and watching a brilliant film helps remind me why I love writing and storytelling so much. With books, the sensation is a little different. While reading, I find myself specifically appreciating the author's writing style. This in turn, sends me back to the computer chair in search of my own voice. It's kind of like when you watch American Idol and suddenly you're in the mood to sing. What, just me? Okayyy... Moving on!

3. Start on something else and come back to it. I find it incredibly helpful to sometimes just work on a completely different book for a while and then come back to the one I'm having trouble with whenever the inspiration comes. Imagine yourself as a mother pregnant with a story idea. You start feeling a little contraction and rush off to the hospital to push that baby out. Then the doctor tells you that you were a bit premature in coming––that the baby isn't ready yet. Sometimes our stories need time to develop before they can breathe on their own.

4. Skip to a more interesting part. This tip is as simple as it sounds. If the ending climax is the most exciting part of the book, sometimes we can rush the build up to get there. My advice is to skip to the part you're dying to write and then work backward from there. That way, you are giving your full story the attention it deserves.

5. Take a break and come back with fresh eyes. This tip is risky because you may lose all of your motivation and never come back to it. My advice is give yourself two weeks. If you still have writer's block after chewing on your story during your break, start something else. Sometimes re-reading the same book over and over again will strip you of all your creative energy. Sometimes you just need to go hang out with your friends, take a trip to the beach, or play a game with the family. Living your life is the best inspiration you could ever get.