What writer hasn’t encountered the dreaded writer’s block? Kind of like hiccups, writer’s block isn’t fatal, but it’s still annoying. Also like hiccups, I haven’t found a surefire way of beating it, but here are some ideas:
- Read a story that you probably won’t like. Stories that you don’t like might turn out to be amazing inspirations. After reading the story, consider why you didn’t like it and what you would have changed. Stories about child geniuses were part of the insprition behind my book, Nick Newton Is Not a Genius. I was tired of the genius kid trope and wanted to see what would happen if I created the reverse, a story about a “normal” boy living in a family of geniuses.
- Talk to a friend about your story. Even if your listener isn’t a writer, even if they just smile and nod, or even if they offer wild ideas you’ll think you’ll never use, sometimes it helps to bounce ideas off of a listening ear.
- Try a different activity and come back to your writing. Writing is a skill in and of itself, but like other art forms, you need content with which to fill it. Story fuel is all around you. Whether you get involved in a new hobby or simply take a walk along a familiar trail, look for insights and events that you can use for story ideas or to enrich your writing.
- Take a shower and go to sleep. If you’re writing at 2am, you might not have writer’s block—you might just be tired! This is a normal human condition and, thankfully, one that can be remedied. Take a shower, sleep on your idea, and charge up for a new day.
- Just keep writing. Even after resting, if you feel like you’re cranking out bad writing, keep writing, anyway. Not everything you put to paper will be publishable, and that’s OK. Sometimes your story idea isn’t fully formed when you start writing, but you can clarify and develop your initial ideas as you go along.
Have you tried any of these ideas for beating writer’s block? Do you have more ideas for overcoming the problem? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!