Let’s talk about writing. Specifically, not writing. Everyone knows that familiar old term called writer’s block, eh? That thing when our characters won’t talk to us?
Yep, let’s talk about that.
What are some ways we can avoid writer’s block and continue getting words onto the page? Let’s look at my six ideas.
1. Have fun
Seriously guys, I don’t know where we lost this part of writing down the lane… remember why you are doing this. You have a message to share with the world, you have a goal you want to reach, and…. you love it. Some part of the writing journey is absolutely thrilling. Right? (If not, perhaps you should scrutinize your reason why.)
Giving yourself the freedom to enjoy the process will help. A lot.
*evil grin* YESSSSSSS Mr. Pantser, I said outline. And if you’re thinking this is absolutely horrible advice and it would kill you to outline…. hear me out. Once, I believed I was a pantser (meaning I wrote better without an outline), but then I heard on a video call that young authors don’t really even know if they are plotters or pantsers. They might think they are a pantser only because they’ve never outlined much before. That does not make you a pantser. How can you know if the story would’ve been better if you had outlined beforehand? You honestly can’t tell if you’ve only written a few novels. However, maybe once you’ve written plenty of novels and you’re confident with your writing style, maybe then you’ll know you’re a plotter or a pantser. But don’t feel like you’re stuck with that label before you’ve actually tried the other ways in depth.
When I heard that, I felt like I was given the freedom to actually try outlining. Before, I thought I was stuck and that I couldn’t outline at all. So now I’m outlining my stories and so far it’s been awesome!
An outline will help you to steer clear of writer’s block—you’ll know exactly where your story needs to go without stopping to brainstorm in the middle of a sentence.
3. Write garbage
DO IT. Turn off your inner editor that continues to scream at you. To be honest, in the long run, it doesn’t matter if that sentence sounds clunky or doesn’t make sense. You will go back and fix it afterwards. Right now, you’re putting words onto the page. Don’t get caught up in the trap of perfection.
“You can’t edit a blank page.” ~ Jodi Picoult
“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” ~ Terry Pratchett
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ~ Louis L’Amour
This is your first draft. Take a breath, remember this will NOT be perfect yet, and begin typing.
4. Pray about it
God’s involved in your life—every aspect of it. He wants to help with your stories! In fact, I’ve found that He has the best ideas for where my story should go. 😉 One morning when I was going out for a walk, I felt the need for brainstorming a new idea. I began trying to think about stories I could possibly write, and then I thought, “Hold on, I should ask God for ideas.” I hardly ever do this, even though I know I should. So I prayed, “Jesus, please give me ideas. What would you like to see me write? Do you want to help me brainstorm?” Afterwards, I started brainstorming with ideas and suddenly something just clicked. Emotions, characters, plots just fell right into place and I scrambled to work so I could write down all my ideas. It wasn’t until that night when I was journalling that I remembered my prayer to God for help. Mind blown! He truly cares. He has the best ideas and He wants to give them to you! Ultimately, I am writing because I want God to use me through my words. The best way to accomplish this is to ask Him for wisdom.
Talk to Him and see what things He’ll come up with. Ask Him to guide you as you write. He’ll be right there beside you if you ask!
5. Take a break—write something fun!
Maybe the problem is that you’re tired of this story (or you don’t know what should happen next, in which case an outline would be a superb idea). Try writing something fresh. Maybe all you need is a different perspective. Another thought is to write a snippet of your main story from the perspective of a character that doesn’t get much attention in the story. See how it goes! It might help you get back in the swing of things.
6. Time yourself
How many words can you write in 10 minutes? 15? 30? Do you focus better if you write in shorter amounts of time or longer amounts?
In Y-Dubs, we have an exercise called sprinting, where we write for a certain amount of time and then count how many words we got. People can hop in and join you and the best part is being able to write with other people, while still being productive and pumping out words!
You can even try using my favourite The Most Dangerous Writing App. THIS THING WORKS MIRACLES. Not to mention how much fun it is. 😉
More posts to get your creative juices flowing!
May God bless you on your journey!