Let me just start by saying these tips are what works for me and it may not work for you. I’m not going to use a textbook approach for writer’s block as you can find that almost anywhere on the web. This is what works for me and my lifestyle and I’m sharing it because it may be found to be useful at some point.
As I was ranting in my previous post about experiencing bouts of writer’s block, it dawned on me that I do have little ways of dealing with it.
Sleep. First and foremost sleep is essential. My days are so busy that when all is said and done, I can’t even manage to sit down and function in front of my laptop. I feel like I do write better when I get a good night’s rest, however far and few that may be.
Coffee. You know of coffee breaks, don’t you? Well I have coffee starts. A piping hot cup of energy elixir is what I need to put me in the right mind frame. It gives a burst of energy, a satisfied stomach and helps me to collect my thoughts.
Physical Activity. This is a given. Any form of physical activity whether it be walking, yoga or going to the gym will be beneficial. Getting your body worked up releases endorphins, that happy hormone. It reduces stress and you feel better about your life. I simply do walking, I just do a lot of it and random dancing in the kitchen with my kids.
Do not worry about the end product. This is a problem I faced early on. I felt like everything had to be perfect in one shot and then I ended up proof reading for a longer period that it took me writing the actual story. Just write, don’t worry about grammar or perfecting your format. You’ll get to that later. It’s important to just finish your first draft.
Leave the introduction until later. This is one of the bigger contributions to my writer’s block. I know what I want the story to be about and by the time I’ve figured out the ending, almost all of the book is completed in my head. But I do have issues with my introductions. I always feel like it’s not sounding right, nobody will be interested in reading the rest and I get stuck. I can get stuck for months at a time so I tried a different approach. Whatever I’m already sure of, I write. And leave the rest for later.
Write freely. This is similar to what I’ve said earlier. Just write without worrying about grammar, spelling or the story you’re working on. You’ll be able to produce raw material that’d be useful later on as well as gear yourself up for continuing to write your book. I write freely on this blog. Much of it makes no sense, it’s like a journal. It’s like a little break in between life to offload thoughts an ideas.
Do not write for readers. I am still struggling with this one. I read reviews of other books in my genre of writing, looking for ways that readers criticize stories. Whenever I write an organic piece, I sometimes feel as if a reader might not appreciate it, maybe laugh about it and I tend to rewrite a lot and get stuck of course. This takes away from your creativity, your uniqueness. Just write what you know, what you feel. It doesn’t matter if people aren’t hopping to get to your work. Self satisfaction is key. Getting your story done according to your eyes is key.
Get rid of distractions. In other words, get rid of your kids. Just kidding! On a serious note, when you do decide to sit and write, do not be distracted. If your thoughts are elsewhere, you won’t do your best work. You need to stay focused. My children distract me a lot hence I mostly write when they’re asleep at night. Another distraction is social media. The time really flies when you’re scrolling and scrolling, losing all thoughts, just looking at memes and laughing. So when you’re about to write, stay away from your phone.
Write on pen and paper. I can really stare at a screen and get nothing done, for hours. What helps sometimes is to revert to our traditional methods of pen and paper. You’d be surprised at how your thoughts flow.
Timing. Some of us think better on mornings, some at night. Figure out when you write at your best and utilize it.
Don’t over plan. I thrive on not over planning. It creates pressure and I cave. I never get anything done on time anyway. Your story speaks to you. Write it with flow as it comes.
Leave it. When you’re stuck, just get up and walk away for a minute. I can walk away for weeks at a time to catch my bearings. Sometimes you need to reconnect with what inspired the story initially to be able to write it in a flow.
Sleep/Dream Writing. So this is something I do. Before I sleep is one of the times I really plot my story and put together dialogues for my characters. I often dream of my characters and even if I don’t, I wake up with a refreshing realization of where my story should go next.
Read. Not reviews as I mentioned before. Every writer is a reader first. It’s where we first connected with our passion to tell stories. So read. The language of different authors helps your words to flow freely.
xo Coffee Doll