55: Dealing With Writer's Block
Howdy! Writer's block isn't fun, and can last a while. I'm in the middle of rewriting my April Camp Nano project, from scratch. There are some scenes I don't want to write, either because they make me uncomfortable, or because I don't think I've done enough research yet. Regardless, I'm pushing through. It's just the second draft. No need to be pristine about it. But what if it wasn't scenes I was struggling with, but the overall plot, or if I had no plot at all? What gets me writing after I've hit a wall? What methods do I have for beating writer's block?
Shower: Being away from the internet and away from any other distractions lets me work out problems with my plot, or scene. If I don't have a story idea, my quiet place is where I'm going to find it.
Talk the problem out: If I'm stuck on a plot point, or a scene isn't working, I'll discuss it with my spouse. He doesn't have to read the entire book to help me talk my way out of an issue. If he's not around, I'll just explain the problem to my dogs. They aren't going to solve it, but hearing why the issue persists, out loud, can help me to figure out a way around it. The solution may involve backtracking, and dropping new hints earlier in the piece. That's fine.
Skip it: If I'm not ready to writer that scene, or that draft, or that story, I'll put it off and work p the next scene, or a different project. Neil Gaiman wrote the beginning of the Graveyard Book, then put it down for years, during which he gained the experience needed to finish the story.
Create Urgency: I work better under a deadline. A quick draft will be messy and it might be short, but it's a necessary step for me to find the kinks in my plot, and how better to meet genre requirements. NaNoWriMo forces me to write more than I normally would, per day. A lot of it is fluff, just meeting my word count, but I always find my way back to the plot, and some of that fluff ends us as trivia I can rework into the story later. Sometimes I just need to give myself a deadline to meet in order to move forward.
Take a Walk: This is really the same as taking a shower. The idea is to get away from social media and the internet, in order to visualize and rework the scene or plot.
So there you have it. Those are my five tips on beating Writer's Block. I hope you found this helpful. I drop a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!