Posted by: nancycurteman | March 20, 2020

How to Beat Writers’ Block

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Writers’ Block can affect any author at any time. It can be of short or long term duration. It can happen at the start or in the middle of writing a new novel. Since most of us as authors are likely to experience it, the question is what to do about it. I know from personal experience that just wringing your hands won’t work. Each writer has her own strategy for dealing with this paralyzing problem. I will share mine and I invite you to share yours.

 

  • Keep writing. Continue writing something. Either your novel, a blog, social media comments, emails anything that keeps you at your computer for some part of your day. I usually focus on my novel.
  • I stick to writing my novel. I write anything related to my story—setting, dialogue, narration—it doesn’t matter because I will revise and even delete what I’ve written. My objective is to write.
  • I find writing dialogue between characters to be a very useful tool for getting me back on track. Dialogue is easy for me to write and often I can use it as a story skeleton that I plump out with more details later.
  • Another strategy that works for me is to conduct research on an element of my novel. In my research I always learn something new that I can use to broaden my story.
  • When I have writers’ block I forget about sequence. I may write a final chapter or I may create a scene that belongs in the middle of my story just because I like it. I can always reposition it.
  • Finally, I think about my plot when I’m on a walk or just before I go to sleep. I sometimes act out a scene in my mind. This is also writing. It’s just done without a pen or computer.

 

I repeat, the best way to break through writers’ block is to write. I’d love to hear your strategies for beating writers’ block.

 

 

More Tips:

How to Conquer Writers’ Block


Responses

  1. Hi Nancy – My theory about writers’ block is that it is a myth. Rather, what’s happening is your mind is processing thoughts that have been rattling around in your head and will release them when it has those thoughts organized and ready for you to write them down. Meanwhile, your best option is to relax. Getting worked up about it simply makes matteers worse.

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    • Yeah, James, they call that writers’ block.

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    • James, I have had occasions when ideas just seemed to pop into my head. You make a good point.

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  2. I may be immune to writers’ block but should it arrive I like the idea of doing scenes out of order or focusing on dialog. Some scenes and conversations are simply too inviting to ignore. What is writer’s block?

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    • What a great idea.!

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    • For me, writers’ block is when I just can’t think what to write next.

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  3. Because I was an actor for a brief time, I’ve often been able to beat writer’s block by getting on my feet and acting out the scene (assuming I’m alone). The backspace key is usually my main enemy, but it doesn’t exist if you’re speaking the dialogue and performing the actions in real-time. Lately, Mr. Chopra has been effective — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bs0qUB3BHQ&t=22s

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    • Acting out a scene is a great strategy. Thanks for the idea.

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