So as you may know, I previously wrote an article talking about my writers’ block, Writers’ Block (great title, I know), and that got me interested in cures for writers’ block. I know there are like fifty million articles with advice on how to cure the deadly creativity killer, but I found most of them to be things like: play music, change scenery, take a break, and my personal favorite, just write anyways.
Slow clap for that one.
I get the idea behind this; if you just push yourself out of the slump, it’ll pass, but that’s not nearly as easy as they make it sound.
So then I thought, Why am I going to random strangers for advice about how I should cure my writers’ block. Everyone’s different and this isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. So I thought I’d make a list of things I think will help me…and maybe help you too.
Julia’s List of Cures For Writer’s Block
1.) Plan the Scene You’re Having Trouble With
Now hear me out. This may sound like a super “duh” thing, but hear me out. Ask yourself these questions: What needs to happen in this scene? What information needs to be conveyed? Where is the scene leading? Who is the main character interacting with? What is the main character doing? And how can I link this to the next important scene? Plan, plan, plan.
Usually I do a general overview of what happens per chapter to maybe even every three chapters. I’m a very broad sort of planner when it comes to my writing, so I thought that maybe when I’m having trouble if I slow down and think about these things, it might help.
2.) Talk To Someone Who Inspires You
Call a friend, a family member, someone who you can bounce ideas off of. Tell them about your book and what’s going on and ask their opinion. Tell them your ideas and let them help you better them.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this with my mom and with my best friend, Emily. Effeminate Earth would’ve ended a lot differently had it not been for my mom. (You’ll see what I mean when you read it.)
3.) Take Inspiration From Your Favorite Pieces of Writing
Now I’m not saying you should plagiarize or copy anything. That’s NOT the message I’m trying to convey at all. What I mean is read something that inspires you. Like for me, James Dasher’s books inspire me a lot. He’s such an amazing author and I love his writing style. So sometimes I read his works (my favorite is the Mortality Doctrine Trilogy) and pay close attention to his writing style: his wording, his flow. And I find myself thinking how I would’ve written it.
I don’t know if I explained that well at all. I feel like my message is still wrong on that, but it’s kind of hard to explain. I hope you understand what I mean anyways.
4.) Remember That It’s Okay To Write Badly
A lot of times this one is really what sets me back so much. Since I’m OCD, I really want my writing to be perfect and I’ll find myself deleting the same sentence and rewriting it over and over and over. Sometimes I don’t want to write at all because I feel that the ideas and writing is so terrible so I’ll just stare at the screen and contemplate why I’m even an author.
DO NOT DO THIS!!!
Remember it’s okay for it to be bad. That’s what editing is for. Remind yourself that right now it doesn’t matter, you can always go back and change it later, but DO NOT let it trip you up.
5.) Don’t Give Up
Now I know this sounds a lot like the one I was mocking earlier, but I promise it isn’t like that. What I mean is, a lot of times when I can’t write, I’ll just stop trying, sometimes for weeks at a time. I get frustrated and just stop. I don’t want you to sit at your computer and stare at the screen continuously, expecting an idea to come to you and/or trying to force the words onto the paper, but don’t just stop altogether like I so often do.
Take breaks and go back intermittently. You decide the intervals. Even if it’s every day or every other day, keep trying. Eventually something will come to you.
It’s okay to take a break and some time off, but don’t just stop. Set a definite goal. Say to yourself, “I’m going to take the next three days off, but on Friday I am definitely going to try again.”
I really hope these tips help some of you and I hope to try to follow them better myself.
In other news, Effeminate Earth is only about a week away and I NEED YOU!!! I’m trying to pull together a launch team for my book and I need your help. CLICK HERE to sign up for the launch team and receive a free electronic copy of Effeminate Earth.
Thanks for reading and keep on writing!
Julia E. Flowers