Saturday, March 24, 2012

Getting out of the rut. Defeating writer’s block

Most authors have their own method of overcoming writer’s block. Some do something entirely different: cook, clean, go hiking.
Others change projects. They stop work on the paranormal and write on the historical. Or any other genre as long as it’s a different plot and characters from what has them stymied.
Some challenge each other to a word count war, or to write something they’ve never attempted before. Or they begin something ultra short, like a free read, using minor characters from one of their books.
One author, who writes action heroines, said whenever she’s painted into a corner she just gets out her sword and smashes the wall down. Well, whatever works for each author is good.
One different kind of writing challenge is to write a page of the story without using a particular letter or common word. No using letter “o”, or forbidding the word “and”, or “then”. This kind of project forces the author to think out of the box, to try new phrases, new words, and in doing so, often stirs their creative juices.
My advice is to take a day or two off and do other, completely different things. Then to place you butt in the chair, your fingers on the keyboard, and get writing, using whatever challenge works for you. It doesn’t matter if what you write isn’t very good. Once it’s on the page you can fix it up. But first you need to get it written down.
As all authors know, writing can be very hard work. But if you want to succeed, you have to keep on keeping on.

Helen Woodall


anny cook said...

A good night's sleep, a healthy diet, and a careful observation of the effects of any new meds also helps.

Paris said...

Taking a day or two off seems to work for me but I may try writing a page without using the word "and"! That would be challenge enough to get my gray cells working, lol!

Thanks for the tips:)

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

LOL Anny. Especially if the medications affect each other.
Go for it Paris!